Video Shows Danelo Cavalcante’s Shocking Escape From Pennsylvania Prison


A stunning video shows “extremely dangerous” convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante scale a wall to escape from a Pennsylvania prison yard last week.

Cavalcante, 34, was serving a life sentence after being convicted of slaying his former girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her two young children by stabbing her 38 times in a brutal attack in 2021. Prosecutors said there was an active arrest warrant for Cavalcante regarding a murder in his home country of Brazil, and also suspect that he had killed Brandao to prevent her from telling local police that he was wanted by Brazilian officials, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

He made his shocking escape while being held at the Chester County Prison in Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania, as he awaited transfer to a state institution to serve his sentence. Around 8:50 a.m. August 31, video shows Cavalcante climb a wall in the prison exercise yard, according to footage shared by the district attorney’s office. Residents living near the prison have been warned to take extra safety precautions as the manhunt for Cavalcante continues. The U.S. Marshals Service has shared his photo and issued a $20,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Video released by authorities in Chester County, Pennsylvania, shows how murder convict Danelo Cavalcante escaped custody.
Courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service Philadelphia

Newsweek reached out via email on Wednesday to the Pennsylvania State Police for comment and was directed to a 3 p.m. ET press conference that was streamed on Facebook. Newsweek also reached out via email to Facebook to the Chester County district attorney.

The 23-second video clip, shared on the district attorney’s Facebook page Wednesday, shows Cavalcante walking toward a doorway at the Chester County Prison before looking over his shoulder and glancing around the yard.

He then places his hands on one wall and his feet on another before he scoots himself up the wall. He manages to scale the wall while parallel to the ground in just a few seconds, the video shows. The footage does not show Cavalcante on the roof, but prison officials say he would have encountered layers of razor wire.

Earlier this year, another inmate, Igor Bolte, escaped the prison May 19, with Cavalcante using a similar method to flee the facility, Chester County Prison Active Warden Howard Holland said during the afternoon news briefing.

After Bolte’s brief breakout, prison officials brought in security consultants and added more razor wire along the perimeter of the exercise area where he managed to get out, the warden said.

Bolte, 30, was also in the exercise yard when he made his escape by scaling the wall using an exposed I-beam until he reached the roof and jumped down into a less secure area, Holland said. Bolte was captured within five minutes when he was spotted by the prison’s tower officer, who is responsible for overseeing inmates in the yard. Despite the enhanced security after Bolte’s escape, the warden said Cavalcante was also able to scale a wall undetected.

Unlike Bolte’s escape, the tower officer “did not observe nor report” Cavalcante climbing out, Holland said, adding that prison authorities are investigating to see what happened and how the prisoner was able to elude the tower officer.

Cavalcante has been seen since his escape at least a handful of times and is believed to be hiding out in the area’s surrounding dense woodland. He was more recently spotted by a trail camera on the property of Londwood Gardens, which consists of more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands and meadows in the Brandywine Creek Valley. The surveillance video captured him walking through the area with a duffel bag, backpack and hooded sweatshirt.


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