‘Frightened’ family of woman killed by Pennsylvania prison escapee is under 24-hour police watch

The “Frightened Man” Woman’s dearest Officers killed by an escaped Pennsylvania convict are under 24-hour police protection and remain “barricaded in their home,” officials said Thursday.

It’s been a week since 34-year-old Danelo Cavalcante escaped from the Chester County Jail in Pocopson Township, and police are still searching for him in heavily wooded terrain outside Philadelphia.

The escaped convict was sentenced on August 16 First Degree Murder for the fatal knife attack on a former girlfriend. Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

His victim’s family now lives in fear while the killer roams free.

“They have protection and they are afraid. They did not leave their home,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan told reporters.

“They are barricaded inside and very concerned for their safety. We have police around them 24 hours a day, but I know they are very, very worried.”

Law enforcement released prison surveillance video Wednesday showing the 5-foot-11 Cavalcante stretched in between a pair of parallel walls to force himself onto the roof where he could escape.

Danelo Cavalcante in the clothes he wore during his escape.
Danelo Cavalcante in the clothes he wore during his escape.Chester County District Attorney

“This is a scandal. “This should never have happened,” Ryan said. “We’re all upset and we’re all worried.”

Given the skill Cavalcante demonstrated in his escape, police are paying particular attention to trees and waterways where he could hide.

“It was a very thorough search,” said State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens.

Sarah Brandão, whose sister Deborah Brandão was fatally stabbed by Cavalcante, said she and her family were worried he would go where they are.

“I am [scared]“Me and my family, all the time,” Sarah Brandão said in an interview with NBC News. “I try, but I don’t sleep,” she said.

Cavalcante killed Deborah Brandão in 2021, officials said. He then fled and was arrested in Virginia. Investigators believe he was trying to get to Mexico and then his home country of Brazil, said Ryan, the district attorney.

Sarah Brandão, left, with her sister Deborah Brandão.
Sarah Brandão, left, with her sister Deborah Brandão.Courtesy of Sarah Brandão

The family is in constant contact with the police. “I feel safe with the police,” she said, adding that she is “still afraid.”

Cavalcante understands the forest very well, Brandão said. The reports of sightings make her feel better because they signal that police may be closer to catching him.

Search forces are focusing on an area between eight and 10 square miles bounded by Pennsylvania Route 926 to the north, Hillendale Road to the south, Pennsylvania Route 52 to the west and Creek Road to the east, police said

The reward for information leading to his arrest has been increased to $20,000, officials said.

Brian Ashcraft

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