Escaped PA killer caught

Published by Annabelle Chipps, Date: September 15, 2023

A Pennsylvania man convicted of first-degree murder has been caught after escaping Chester County Prison on Aug. 31, 2023. The alleged murderer, Danelo Cavalcante, reportedly stabbed his girlfriend 38 times in front of her children. 

After a 13-day manhunt, police used thermal heat technology and a border patrol dog to find the supposed killer, according to NBC News

Surveillance video showed that he stretched himself across the brick and cinderblock walls in the exercise yard and climbed to the roof,” NBC News said. Authorities say Cavalcante then changed his appearance and stole a van from a West Chester Dairy Farm. 

“It sounds like they need to change some of their policies for the gaurds there in light of the situation,” Butler County Sheriff Michael Slupe said. “I will tell you that the Butler County Prison is well run and has exceeded all standards from the department of corrections.” 

“Security is of the utmost importance to all of us,” he said. “We treat every prisoner the same when we secure them. They’re constantly watched.”

The situation lead to the immediate termination of a Chester County Prison employee. “Reading into it tells me that with the Tower Guard, there was some culpability there,” Slupe said.

While Cavalcante was on the run and hiding in the woods, two Eastern PA schools closed their campuses. If a similar situation occurred within 30 miles of Slippery Rock, campus police would be required to notify students. 

“It is important for everyone to sign up for campus alerts, which can be found on our Police website,” Campus Police Chief Kevin Sharkey said. 

“[Checking for prisoners] is double, triple work, but it’s all for the main sense of security for the prisoner and society, our community and what they’re looking for,” Slupe said. 

If you have any questions about campus safety or feel the need to report an incident, please contact campus police by calling 724.738.3333 or dialing extension 3333 from campus phones.


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