US

Convicted murderer who escaped prison by ‘crab-walking’ up wall caught by police

A convicted murderer who broke out of prison by “crab-walking” over the walls has been caught after a nearly two-week-long manhunt.

Danelo Cavalcante broke out of Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania on 31 August.

CCTV showed the 34-year-old stretching himself between a pair of parallel walls from the prison’s recreation yard in order to climb them.

He then crossed over razor wire and ran across a roof, making it undetected past a prison guard in a rooftop watchtower to complete his escape.

Danelo Cavalcante. Pic: US Marshals Service Philadelphia
Image:
Danelo Cavalcante. Pic: US Marshals Service Philadelphia

His escape went undetected for more than an hour until guards took a head count.

Hundreds of state and local police along with federal agents were involved in the search for Cavalcante.

On Wednesday, a law enforcement source told NBC News that the convicted killer had been caught.

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“I’m proud to announce the subject is in custody. Repeating, subject is in custody,” a Chester County official announced in a broadcast radio call on Wednesday morning.

His capture comes a day after police set up a fortified perimeter following sightings of Cavalcante in the South Coventry Township area on Monday evening.

Law enforcement officers gather as they search for escaped convict Danelo Cavalcante in Glenmoore, Pa., Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Law enforcement officers involved in the search for Cavalcante. Pic: AP

US authorities said he was shot at by a homeowner who found him in his garage stealing a rifle.

Cavalcante was convicted on 16 August of the murder of a 33-year-old former girlfriend.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the stabbing.

Danelo Cavalcante before his escape. Pic: Chester County District Attorney
Image:
Danelo Cavalcante before his escape. Pic: Chester County District Attorney

Cavalcante is also wanted in his native Brazil, where he is accused of “double qualified homicide” in the 2017 killing of Valter Junior Moreira dos Reis in the municipality of Figueiropolis, over a debt the victim owed him for repairing a vehicle.

He was being held in Chester County Prison while awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve his life sentence.

A county spokesperson said an 18-year veteran guard who missed spotting Cavalcante’s escape has since been fired.

The guard, who has not been identified, had a cellphone in the tower, a violation of Chester County Prison policy, according to the county representative.

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