Pennsylvania fugitive captured after two weeks on the run

(Reuters) -A convicted murderer who escaped from a Pennsylvania jail was recaptured on Wednesday after eluding an expanding manhunt for two weeks and unnerving residents in the suburbs west of Philadelphia, state police said.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, broke out of Chester County Prison, about 30 miles (50 km) west of Philadelphia, on Aug. 31 by climbing between two walls that formed a narrow corridor in the jail house yard and scrambling onto the roof.

Authorities will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) to discuss his recapture, state police said in a post on the X social media platform.

Cavalcante in live video shown on CNN can be seen surrounded by dozens of law enforcement personnel in camouflage as he was put inside an armored vehicle.

He escaped while waiting to be transferred from the county lockup to a state correctional institution to begin serving a life sentence handed down after his conviction earlier in August for the brutal killing of a former girlfriend.

His escape unsettled many in the region. School districts canceled classes for a day after Cavalcante was seen on security-camera video on a public garden trail. Police expanded their search and urged residents to keep their doors locked, but he was able to slip through an initial perimeter.

More than a week after his escape, he stole a van and drove about 25 miles (40 km) before abandoning the vehicle. By that time, he had shaved off his beard. He also stole a rile from a garage as the owner of the house fired several shots at him.

During his flight, Cavalcante tried to contact several people for their assistance, including his sister, but she did not help him, police said. She was later taken into custody for an immigration violation.

A jury found Cavalcante guilty in the April 2021 stabbing death of his former girlfriend at her home in Schuylkill Township in front of her young children. After the murder, he fled the scene, according to authorities. Hours later, police arrested him in Virginia.

After his escape from the county jail, authorities had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Cavalcante, a Brazilian national, is also a suspect in a 2017 murder in Brazil, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Mark Porter)

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