Pennsylvania authorities search for prison escapee called 'extremely dangerous'

Undated image of Danelo Cavalcante, who escaped from the Chester County Jail in Pennsylvania on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Chester County District Attorney's Office

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania authorities on Friday continued to search for a convicted murderer who escaped from the Chester County Prison in West Chester, Pa., on Thursday, authorities said.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, is wanted for a murder in Brazil and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2021 stabbing murder of his ex-girlfriend. He was last seen walking in Pocopson Township, Pa., Thursday morning.

Considered "extremely dangerous," the Chester County district attorney's office said hundreds of police officers have been ordered to use any available means to bring in Cavalcante.

District Attorney Deb Ryan said how Cavalcante escaped remained under investigation.

A Brazilian national, Cavalcante of 5-foot tall, weighs 120 pounds and speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese.

Cavalcante illegally entered the United States in 2017 after an arrest warrant was issued for him. He obtained fake identification in Puerto Rico and then to the U.S. mainland, where he settled in with friends in Chester County, Pa.

He worked construction locally, authorities said.

Prosecutors said Cavalcante dated his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao, 33, for two years, but she eventually filed restraining orders against him after charging that he was violent and abusive to her and her children.

Even though they remained in contact later after their relationship ended, she eventually told him to leave her alone or she would tell the police about his arrest warrant for murder in Brazil.

The next day, authorities said, Cavalcante stabbed Brandao to death in front of her 9-year-old daughter in the front yard of where Brandao was living.

Cavalcante was arrested and convicted in the murder on Aug. 16. He was awaiting his transfer to a state-run prison in Pennsylvania when he escaped.