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Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante manhunt closes schools, residents urged to lock doors

Escaped prisoner search intensifies in South Coventry, North Coventry townships: police
Escaped prisoner search intensifies in South Coventry, North Coventry townships: police 01:55

UPDATE: Escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante armed with rifle, police searching roughly 8-square-mile area

SOUTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- Law enforcement is pursuing escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcante, who is armed with a rifle, in South Coventry Township, Chester County, early Tuesday morning, Pennsylvania State Police said. 

Police were searching near Route 100 and Route 23 (Ridge Road) in South Coventry Township Tuesday morning. Residents in the area were urged to lock all doors and windows and secure their vehicles.

Chester County residents hope manhunt for Danelo Cavalcante ends soon 03:00

Owen J. Roberts School District schools closed

Owen J. Roberts School District, which is located in South Coventry Township, is closing all schools Tuesday, Sept. 12, day 13 of the manhunt.

"The safety and security of our students and staff remains our top priority. We know that this situation is stressful and upsetting for our entire community. We thank you once again for your patience, support and understanding throughout the past several days," Superintendent Will Stout wrote in a statement on the district's website. 

Road closures in South Coventry Township

By 5 a.m. Tuesday, North Coventry Township police said they were actively searching for Cavalcante near the intersection of Route 100 and Route 23 in South Coventry Township.

"There is a strong police presence and roads are closed. Please avoid this area and stay safe," North Coventry police said.

On Monday at around 11 p.m., police were actively searching for Cavalcante near Fairview and Coventryville Roads in East Nantmeal Township.

Police say Cavalcante "armed"

A resident reported to police a gun was stolen during a confrontation where shots were fired at around 10:30 p.m. in the area of French Creek Elementary School near Route 100. 

Sources said the man who stole the gun fit the description of Cavalcante. It's unclear if the man was hit after a homeowner fired shots at the suspect, sources said.  


The man, believed to be Cavalcante, got away with a .22 caliber rifle with a scope, sources said. A statement from Pennsylvania State Police also indicted Cavalcante was "armed."

Police are combing the ground for footprints that may belong to the escaped Chester County Prison inmate.

Shelter-in-place modified to let residents go to work Tuesday

A shelter-in-place from Monday night is being modified to allow residents to go to work Tuesday morning, according to Chester County authorities.

Residents in the area will be subject to car searches. Reverse 911 calls are being sent out to residents with the information.

Monday night, police sent out reverse 911 calls to tell residents to shelter in place in the area of East Nantmeal.

Sources said a T-shirt and shoes had been found in the area police were searching that possibly belonged to Cavalcante. Numerous residents called dispatchers to report shots were fired in the area.

Sources said a police officer was injured by burns from the radiator cap of his car, not related to the search for Cavalcante.

Officers have set up a perimeter. Route 100 is completely shut down as the search continues. 


RELATED: Reward increased for Chester County Prison escaped inmate to $25K

Investigators believe Cavalcante slipped through their search perimeter over the weekend. Then, police said he stole a dairy farm van with keys inside, which he abandoned in East Nantmeal after it ran out of gas.

Before Cavalcante was possibly spotted Monday night, he was last seen on Saturday night on a Ring doorbell camera in the Phoenixville area. The photos from the camera showed Cavalcante with a clean-shaven face with a green hoodie and hat -- a different look from the facial hair he had at the start of the escape. 

Police said he was trying to get in contact with two former co-workers. Authorities said one of his former associates even had a conversation with him in Portuguese over the Ring doorbell. 

Jeff Wynn lives a few miles down the road and has been following this online police scanner since he found out Cavalcante ditched the stolen van in the area.

How did search for escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante get to this point? 04:01

"It's thrilling," Wynn said. "It's amazing that he's still around this long into it."

RELATED: Retired FBI agent offers insight into search

Police are asking residents to report any sighting of Cavalcante to police. 

"If it's still like this in a couple of days, I know people aren't going to sit by, they might start going out on their own and try to find him," Wynn said. 

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said anyone who assists Cavalcante will be prosecuted.   

Bivens said Cavalcante's sister is being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and has been entered into a deportation proceeding. Bivens said she was an "overstay" and chose not to assist in her brother's capture.

Police are urging the public to remain vigilant, check their surveillance cameras and report any sightings of Cavalcante.

Cavalcante was set to be transferred to a state correctional institution after being sentenced to life without parole for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, 38 times in the Phoenixville area in 2021 in front of her two young kids.   

Law enforcement is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the escaped killer. 

Pennsylvania State Police give update on search for escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante 42:45
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