Danelo Cavalcante, the convicted murderer who has been on the run for 13 days after escaping from a Pennsylvania prison, is now armed and believed to be hiding out deep in the countryside.
Early on Tuesday, police warned residents of the rural community of South Coventry Township – about 20 miles from Chester county prison where he escaped – to lock all doors and windows, secure vehicles and stay indoors. The fugitive, who is reportedly carrying a .22 caliber rifle, is being described as extremely dangerous and the public are being told not to approach him.
The local ABC station 6abc Action News reported that the fugitive was spotted by a police helicopter on Monday night – and that an altercation occurred later with a local homeowner in Coventryville Road. The resident shot at a man fitting Cavalcante’s description, though it is not known whether he was hit as no blood was found at the scene.
With the manhunt about to enter its third week, the search has been escalated to extraordinary levels. Up to 600 law enforcement personnel have been assembled for a “massive sweep” of the area.
Local schools are closed, and authorities have set up road blocks throughout the area. The reward for information leading to the escaped prisoner’s capture has been increased to $25,000.
Cavalcante, 34, escaped on 31 August as he was being transferred to state prison days after he was sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his former girlfriend to death in 2021. He was filmed on prison cameras scrambling up prison walls and forcing his way between barbed wire to get on to the roof.
During his trial, the jury heard he had murdered his ex-girlfriend to prevent her informing on him for killing another person in his native Brazil. He is wanted in the Brazilian state of Tocantins for allegedly murdering Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis in relation to a dispute over a car.
Cavalcante has already managed to slip out of one heavily policed search area. By this past weekend, he had changed his appearance, shaving off a dark moustache and beard and changing into a green or yellow hooded sweatshirt, black baseball cap, prison trousers and white shoes.
Police said he then stole a white Ford transit van from Baily’s Dairy, which he later abandoned after it ran out of fuel.
In a press briefing, Lt Col George Bivens of the Pennsylvania state police said the authorities were worried the convict would attempt to evade the search again by stealing another vehicle. But he said it was unlikely Cavalcante would get beyond state lines.
“I don’t believe he has the resources to get out of Pennsylvania,” he said.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/sep/12/danelo-cavalcante-update-prison-escape-manhunt Pennsylvania armed fugitive ‘hiding in countryside’ as 13-day manhunt continues | Pennsylvania