Police call for residents to stay indoors after escaped Pennsylvania killer is spotted again, this time possibly with weapon, officials say

CNN  — 

A convicted killer who escaped from an eastern Pennsylvania prison nearly two weeks ago was spotted again on Monday night and may now be “possibly armed with a weapon,” police warned, calling for nearby residents to stay indoors and lock their doors.

The latest sighting of 34-year-old Danelo Cavalcante – the first one reported since Saturday – brings a heightened sense of danger as the search enters its 13th day Tuesday.

The fugitive was spotted in Chester County’s South Coventry Township, about 20 miles north of the county prison he escaped from, according to an emergency alert sent Monday night to area residents via email and text message.

“Residents in the area are asked to lock all external doors and windows, secure vehicles, and remain indoors,” the alert read, adding that there were reports of the fugitive in the area of Ridge, Coventryville and Daisy Point roads, “possibly armed with a weapon.”

While few details about Monday night’s sighting were immediately released, it was the first time authorities said Cavalcante may be armed – though he has repeatedly been described as dangerous.

On Sunday, authorities released a new image of Danelo Cavalcante, showing him clean-shaven and wearing a green hooded sweatshirt.

Cavalcante was being held at Chester County Prison, in a rural area some 30 miles west of Philadelphia, following his conviction last month of first-degree murder for the killing of his former girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brandão. He escaped from custody August 31, launching the dayslong manhunt.

Before Monday night, no sightings of Cavalcante had been reported since the weekend, when authorities say he slipped through a police search perimeter. Police say he stole a van, changed his appearance and showed up Saturday at the homes of people he knew years ago, more than 20 miles outside the search perimeter. He then ditched the vehicle in a field East Nantmeal Township and vanished, authorities said.

The weekend’s developments shifted the search for police, who had previously been focused on a search perimeter that included a botanical garden – just a few miles from the prison – where he was sighted multiple times.

Despite the shifting search areas, all reported sightings of Cavalcante so far have happened in Chester County.

On Saturday evening, Cavalcante appeared in the East Pikeland Township home of an acquaintance he’d known several years ago, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens said said in a Sunday news conference.

He spoke with the acquaintance on a Ring doorbell camera, which captured his new clean-shaven look, but the person wasn’t home and did not respond to meet Cavalcante, Bivens said.

Cavalcante then tried to contact another acquaintance in the nearby Phoenixville area. That person was also not home but called police after a female resident saw the escaped inmate, according to Bivens.

“He needs additional help. He needs resources for the long run, and he is seeking those,” Bivens said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

While Cavalcante has so far managed to evade the hundreds of officers looking for him, police have said they don’t believe he’ll be able to cross state lines.

“I don’t believe he has the resources to get out of Pennsylvania,” Bivens said.

Timeline of known Cavalcante sightings

Law enforcement officers search for Danelo Cavalcante in Glenmoore on Monday.

In addition to the murder of Brandão – he stabbed her 38 times in front of her two young children, according to prosecutors – Cavalcante also is wanted in a 2017 homicide case in Brazil, his native country, a US Marshals Service official has said.

Pennsylvania State Police have said multiple credible sightings of the escaped inmate have been reported. Here’s what we know about some of the places police say Cavalcante has been to:

August 31: Cavalcante is seen on jail surveillance video escaping from Chester County Prison. The video showed him “crab-walking” between two walls in an exercise yard – placing his hands on one wall and his feet on another – and shimmying up out of view, said the prison’s acting warden, Howard Holland. Cavalcante then ran across a roof, scaled another fence and got through razor wire, Holland said.

September 1: Ryan Drummond, who lives in the township where the prison is located, said Cavalcante got into his Pocopson Township home and took food before leaving, CNN affiliate WPVI reported.

September 2: Cavalcante was spotted on surveillance video about 1.5 miles from the prison, authorities said.

September 4: A security camera recorded the fugitive at Longwood Gardens, about 3 miles from the prison, authorities said.

September 5: An area resident reported seeing Cavalcante in a creek bed on the resident’s property, Bivens said.

Wednesday: A trail camera image showed Cavalcante in or around Longwood Gardens but officials learned about this sighting Thursday evening, according to Bivens.

Friday: Authorities reported two sightings of Cavalcante within the search area. The area encompassed Longwood Gardens.

Saturday: Cavalcante stole the van and at 9:52 p.m. local time, he went to the home of the first acquaintance where he was seen on doorbell video. He then went to the home of another old work associate at 10:07 p.m. in Phoenixville area, according to Bivens, who said authorities learned of the sightings around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Sunday: The stolen van was found abandoned in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township at 10:40 a.m.

Monday: Police send an alert saying Cavalcante was sighted in Chester County’s South Coventry Township, “possibly armed with a weapon.”

CNN’s Jessica Xing, Dakin Andone, Celina Tebor, Nicole Grether, Aya Elamroussi, Brian Todd, Aaron Cooper, Michelle Watson, Jessica Prater and Polo Sandoval contributed to this report.


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