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The daughter of the woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo Cavalcante has told police he was going to “do something bad” to their lives.


The prisoner who is now the subject of a massive manhunt after escaping from a Pennsylvania prison last week had killed his ex-girlfriend in a brutal stabbing in 2021 in front of his two young children, authorities said.

Danelo Souza Cavalcante, a 34-year-old man who was convicted of the murder last month, escaped Thursday morning from Chester County Jail, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, sparking a search involving hundreds of police.

Investigators believe he escaped the facility by climbing onto the roof and fleeing from there, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The scope of the manhunt widened on Tuesday morning after he was spotted in CCTV footage in Chester County, just south of the perimeter authorities initially believed he was in. found. Two school districts canceled classes during the search.

Cavalcante is from Brazil and is around 1.50 meters tall with long, curly black hair and brown eyes, according to authorities. said. He is extremely dangerous and desperate to avoid arrest, officials have warned, who have urged residents of areas near the prison to keep their doors locked, stay indoors, watch each other and check their security cameras.

Cavalcante is also wanted in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, according to the US Marshals Service.

The authorities are proposing a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Here’s what we know about him.

The daughter of the woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo Cavalcante has told police he was going to “do something bad” to their lives.

This photo, provided by Chester County Jail, shows Danelo Cavalcante. – Chester County Jail/AP

The gruesome murder

Prosecutors say Deborah Brandão, Cavalcante’s ex-girlfriend, was outside her home with her two children on April 18, 2021.

Cavalcante arrived, grabbed her by the hair, ‘threw her to the ground and stabbed her 38 times in virtually every vital organ…causing her to bleed to death,’ the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said. in a post on Facebook.

The daughter of the woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo Cavalcante has told police he was going to “do something bad” to their lives.

Deborah Brandão is seen here in an undated photo. – Chester County Attorney’s Office

Brandão’s children, ages 7 and 4, ran to neighbors for help and Cavalcante fled, the prosecutor’s office said.

The 7-year-old told police that when Cavalcante started stabbing Brandão, he said he was going to kill her, court records show.

He was arrested hours later in Virginia, prosecutors said. Authorities believe he was trying to flee to Mexico with the intention of later traveling to Brazil, prosecutor Deb Ryan said.

Police from the municipality of Schuylkill were dispatched to the home around 4:17 p.m. on the day of the murder and found Brandão on the ground “with multiple stab wounds to the chest,” the prosecutor’s office said.

A neighbor attempted lifesaving procedures on Brandão while they waited for emergency medical services to arrive, but she was pronounced dead in hospital shortly afterwards.

She was 33 years old.

After the stabbing, Brandão’s 7-year-old daughter told police that Cavalcante showed up at their house and “said he was going to do something bad to their lives and took out two knives of a black bag he had behind his back,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

The girl said she was screaming and Cavalcante threw a rock at her, hitting her leg, police wrote in the affidavit.

After running to the neighbor for help, the girl looked outside and saw Cavalcante drive off in a black car, the documents say.

Brandão’s sister Sarah said the two were best friends and when she learned of Deborah’s murder her “world ended”.

Sarah told CNN that Cavalcante went from being a friendly neighbor to being a jealous boyfriend. Cavalcante and Deborah were both Brazilian and had been dating for about a year and a half, she said.

Deborah told her sister “he was nice to her, he was nice to her kids, he was helping her,” but things changed over time, she said.

“She kept saying he was extremely jealous, that when he drank he became a different person, that he kept checking his cell phone,” Sarah said.

Brandão had filed an abuse protection order against Cavalcante in December 2020, according to the probable cause affidavit. The order alleges that he had previously assaulted Brandão and had previously pulled a knife on him.

“This is a senseless tragedy that has affected countless people because of the cold, calculated and heinous actions of the defendant,” Ryan, who led the prosecution against Cavalcante, said last month.

“MS. Brandão’s children are now without a mother and she will never have the opportunity to see her children grow up, finish school or start their own families,” the prosecutor said.

Brandão’s daughter testified in that case and “helped get justice for her mother,” the prosecutor said. The girl also identified Cavalcante in a photo shortly after the murder and told police, “That’s him, that’s the guy who killed my mom. Please get him back and put him in jail,” the affidavit reads.

On August 16, 2023, Cavalcante was convicted of first degree murder and possession of an instrumentality of crime in the murder, according to the prosecutor’s office. A few days later, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the office said.

Cavalcante’s lawyers told jurors at trial that he was provoked and ‘broken’ when he attacked Brandão, and said he acted in the heat of passion, according to the Chester County newspaper. , DailyLocal.

Sarah said she had lived in fear since Cavalcante’s escape from prison and feared he would come after her.

“I haven’t slept for several days. Since then, I wake up with fear at night. I take a nap and wake up scared,” she said.

Despite her fears, she thinks the police will arrest her.

“Lock your doors. Lock your cars

As officers continued their search for Cavalcante over the weekend, authorities urged residents of Pocopson Township, which neighbors the jail, to stay home.

The daughter of the woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee Danelo Cavalcante has told police he was going to “do something bad” to their lives.

Danelo Cavalcante is seen in this image taken from surveillance footage released by the Pennsylvania State Police. – Pennsylvania State Police

“Lock your doors. Lock your cars. He is still considered an extremely dangerous individual,” Ryan, the prosecutor, said at a press conference on Saturday.

“People need to be on high alert. … He killed someone. He would have killed another person. So people need to take every precaution possible: lock your doors, keep your eyes on your kids, and keep your eyes on your neighbors and friends,” Ryan said a day earlier. “Everyone needs to be on high alert.”

Since his escape, there have been “several credible sightings” of him in an area of ​​the township, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a news conference Tuesday morning.

On Monday, surveillance footage also captured Cavalcante in Longwood Gardens, a popular tourist attraction just south of the area authorities were searching near the jail, prompting the search area to move, Bivens said.

The escapee also appears to have obtained some items, including a backpack, a “shoulder bag type bag” and a hooded sweatshirt, Bivens said.

Bivens added that area residents need to be vigilant, exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.

“We ask them to lock their vehicles, if they don’t usually,” he added. “And pay attention to what’s going on, pay attention to your neighbors, to anything unusual there. … But in reality, it’s vigilance that we expect from people right now.

“He’s clearly in escape mode, but he’s desperate,” Bivens said. “His story shows that he is a dangerous individual. … If we identify that it’s in a very specific area, then my recommendation would be, ‘Stay home.’

CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Danny Freeman, Alessandra Freitas and Celina Tebor contributed to this report.

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