Escaped killer Danilo Cavalcante was captured Wednesday morning after authorities tracked him using thermal heat technology from an aircraft before a U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit dog eventually captured him, officials said.

After nearly two weeks on the run, Cavalcante, a 34-year-old convicted killer who had been released from prison on Aug. 31, was taken in a convoy to the Avondale State Police barracks, where he was buried under a foil blanket shortly before 9 a.m. I arrived wrapped. , Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said at a news briefing.

Bivens said he did not suffer any significant injuries other than a minor bite from the dog.

Chester County officials were heard announcing in a broadcast radio call at 8:18 a.m. that Cavalcante was in custody

“Radio rooms from all Chester County stations, Chester County government and various other agencies are working on the prisoner escape. I am proud to announce that the subject is in custody. To repeat, the subject is in custody,” a Chester County official said.

How was Cavalcante captured?

The arrest came a day after police set up an eight- to 10-square-foot perimeter in northern Chester County.

Bivens said that Wednesday morning, shortly after midnight, a burglar alarm went off at a residence within the perimeter, which was investigated but there was no sighting of Cavalcante.

A US Drug Enforcement Administration The aircraft picked up the heat signal at around 1 am, began tracking it and tactical teams rushed to the area.

Bivens said a storm with lightning caused the aircraft to leave the area and slowed the tracking process for a while. Tactical teams secured the area and held it overnight until the aircraft returned, he said.

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Wednesday morning, shortly after 8 a.m., tactical teams converged on a heat source in a wooded area west of PA 100.

The teams had “the element of surprise,” Bivens said.

“Cavalcante did not realize until then that he was surrounded,” Bivens said. “He started crawling through the thick bushes, taking his rifle with him,” he said. ,

The Border Patrol Tactical Unit had a dog on scene that eventually subdued Cavalcante before BORTAC and Pennsylvania State Police team members arrived.

“He resisted but was taken into custody and no one was injured,” Bivens said.

He said the sudden attack and the use of the Border Patrol dog played a “big role” in preventing Cavalcante from using a firearm.

Medical personnel observed the bite and Cavalcante was taken to the Avondale station for further processing and an interview. He would later be moved to a state correctional institution to serve his life sentence.

“It is a true pleasure to stand here this morning and talk to all of you about bringing this campaign to a successful conclusion and, most importantly, without hurting anyone else,” Bivens said.

his escape and being seen

An extensive manhunt was launched after the 5-foot-2, 120-pound Cavalcante was caught on surveillance footage walking across a pair of parallel walls on the roof of the Chester County Jail in Pocopson Township in his attempt to escape on Aug. 31.

An 18-year veteran guard who failed to detect Cavalcante’s escape has been fired, a county spokeswoman said. The guard, who has not been identified, had a cellphone in the tower, a violation of Chester County jail policy, according to a county representative.

Cavalcante was convicted of first-degree murder in the August 16 stabbing death of his 33-year-old ex-girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is also wanted in his native Brazil in connection with a murder that took place in 2017.

He eluded police capture for nearly two weeks as officers searched for him in a densely wooded area, possibly slowing down the search on both sides.

Some local schools were closed, helicopters searched the area from the sky, police provided 24-hour security to his victim’s family, and patrol cars blared Cavalcante’s mother’s appeal in Portuguese for him to surrender.

The fleeing killer was spotted several times by surveillance cameras in the search area. Photographs of the escapee show that he had also managed to shave and change clothes during his time outside.

Escaped convicted killer Danilo Souza Cavalcante photographed in a security camera image released on September 10, 2023.

Escaped killer Danilo Cavalcante captured in security camera image released Sunday. AFP – Pennsylvania State Police via Getty Images

State police said Cavalcante managed to climb into a white 2020 Ford Transit van with a refrigeration unit on top and drive away before dumping it in a field behind a barn in East Nantucket Township on Sunday.

Multiple sightings of Cavalcante were reported Monday evening.

A motorist reported seeing a man hunched over in a wood line on the south side of Fairview Road, west of Route 100, and responding teams later found his prison shoes.

That same night, a call came in from a homeowner who reported shots fired at Cavalcante after he was found stealing a rifle in the garage. Police said the prisoner was not harmed in that incident.

The perimeter established Monday extended from PA 23 in the north to PA 100 in the east, Fairview in the south and County Park Road in the west.

What’s next for Cavalcante?

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said that Cavalcante would be taken to a state correctional institution where “he will be housed for the foreseeable future,” though it is unclear which facility that is.

He will be arraigned on felony charges filed Aug. 31.

At his arraignment, prosecutors will seek to keep Cavalcante in custody, Henry said, because he has already been sentenced to life behind bars.

“The Attorney General’s Office will be handling the investigation and prosecution in connection with Mr. Cavalcante’s escape from the Chester County Jail,” the statement said.


Law enforcement officers walk the street searching for escaped convict Danilo Cavalcante in Pottstown, PA on Tuesday. Matt Rourke/AP

Chester County commissioners said in a statement Wednesday that Cavalcante’s arrest “ends the nightmare of the past two weeks,” and thanked the various law enforcement agencies who converged to find him.

The commissioners, Marion Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kitchline, said county jail officials have “made some immediate changes to strengthen security,” brought in security contractors to make permanent changes to the exercise yard, and increased security measures. Are reviewing the changing procedures for. Communication with residents living near the prison premises.