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Escaped prisoner in AP updates: Danelo Cavalcante now armed with .22-caliber rifle; last spotted in northern Chester County


East Nantmeal Township, Pennsylvania — The escaped murderer, on the loose in Chester County, Pennsylvania, for nearly two weeks, is now armed with a rifle, state police said.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was spotted Monday evening and managed to steal the firearm from a garage.

Chopper 6 video from our sister station WPVI-TV Tuesday morning showed armed teams in tactical gear marching through fields, forests and backyards searching for Cavalcante.

State police said it all started around 8 p.m. Monday when a motorist spotted a man crouching along the treeline on the south side of Fairview Road, west of Route 100, in Township. ‘East Nantmeal.

She turned around to take another look, police said, but by then the man was gone.

READ MORE: Timeline: Massive Search for Escaped Pennsylvania Inmate Danelo Cavalcante

Troopers and a Border Patrol tactical team responded to the scene and found footprints in the mud identical to the prison shoes Cavalcante was wearing, police said.

Police followed the footprints and discovered that both of the prisoner’s shoes had been discarded. Police said another resident in the immediate area reported a pair of work boots stolen from the porch of her home.

At 10:10 p.m., police said Cavalcante entered the garage of a home in the 3500 block of Coventryville Road while a homeowner was inside. Cavalcante grabbed a .22 caliber rifle from a corner.

READ MORE: Search for Danelo Cavalcante: Former FBI Agent Analyzes Search for Chester County Jail Escapee

This rifle has a scope and a flashlight, police said. Police noted that Cavalcante also had ammunition that accompanied the firearm.

The homeowner, who police said was armed with a gun, fired several shots in his direction. However, police say they have no evidence that Cavalcante was hit.

Police found a green sweatshirt and a white t-shirt, believed to belong to Cavalcante, abandoned near the edge of the driveway.

New research scope established

The current search perimeter is bordered by Route 23 to the north; Route 100 to the east; Fairview and Nantmeal roads to the south; Iron Bridge and County Park Roads to the west.

The current search perimeter is bordered by Route 23 to the north; Route 100 to the east; Fairview and Nantmeal roads to the south; Iron Bridge and County Park Roads to the west.

More than 500 law enforcement officers are engaged in securing the current perimeter, which extends three miles to the east and west and two miles to the north and south.

Gov. Josh Shapiro visited the Unionville command center Tuesday and said the agents and officers working the case have his full support.

READ MORE: Escaped Murderer Danelo Cavalcante Reportedly Still in Chester County; reward now $25,000

He sought to reassure the community, while asking residents to help in the manhunt.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure your safety,” Shapiro said. “I just advise you to keep your doors locked when you’re inside, your cars are locked, you don’t leave anything on your porch.”

Due to ongoing research, all schools and offices in the Owen J. Roberts School District will be closed Tuesday.

Pottstown District Court will also be closed Tuesday.

Residents of East Nantmeal and South Coventry townships are asked to lock all exterior doors and windows, secure vehicles and stay indoors.

The inmate has been on the run since his escape from the Chester County Jail on August 31.

Police announced Monday that the reward for information leading to Cavalcante’s capture had increased to $25,000.

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Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens also issued a stern warning to anyone who might help Cavalcante evade police.

“We will fully prosecute you for these actions,” he said. “Alternatively, I would suggest that if you are able to help facilitate the safe capture of Cavalcante, if you choose to help us, you may be eligible for some or all of the reward that has been offered.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the police information line at 717-562-2987.

Police defend efforts to find Cavalcante

State and federal officials on Monday pushed back on questions about whether they missed a chance to catch Cavalcante, saying the area where hundreds of people were searching included deep woods, underground tunnels and ditches drainage.

They also said it took more than two hours for news to reach them that he had been spotted outside the perimeter for the first time.

Cavalcante escaped from an 8-square-mile search area over the weekend and stole a dairy delivery van that had been left unlocked with the keys inside. He abandoned it more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of the search area after unsuccessfully seeking help at the home of two former colleagues Saturday evening, police said.

Bivens declined to say how he thought Cavalcante slipped through the perimeter, but he said no perimeter was completely secure.

“He doesn’t have what he needs.”

Cavalcante is desperate because he is asking for help from people he hasn’t spoken to in years, he said.

“The fact that he contacted people with very distant connections shows me that he doesn’t have a big support network,” Bivens said. “So I think he’s desperate and I’ve characterized him like that from the beginning. And I think the longer we push him, the more resources we put in, the more tools we put in, eventually we’ll capture it. It doesn’t have what. it must last in the long term.

Bivens said state police were authorized to use deadly force if Cavalcante did not actively surrender and noted that other agencies involved in the search might have their own rules.

Bivens declined to say whether Cavalcante received help from others, but said no such arrests had been made.

READ MORE | ‘I just want him to be caught’: Former roommate opens up about life with escaped murder convict

Cavalcante’s sister arrested

Cavalcante’s sister was arrested by immigration authorities, Bivens said. He said she was arrested for overstaying and that law enforcement had no reason to allow her to stay in the United States since she was not cooperating. to the investigation.

Cavalcante, 34, escaped from Chester County Jail while awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve a life sentence for fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao in 2021. Prosecutors say he killed her to prevent her from telling police he was wanted in a murder in his home country of Brazil.

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To escape, Cavalcante crab-walked up a wall from the playground, climbed barbed wire, ran onto a roof and jumped to the ground. His escape went unnoticed for more than an hour until guards took a head count. The tower guard on duty was fired, officials said.

In Brazil, prosecutors in the state of Tocantins said Cavalcante was charged with “double aggravated homicide” in the 2017 murder of Válter Júnior Moreira dos Reis in the municipality of Figueiropolis, due to a debt the victim owed him for the repair of a vehicle.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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