Escaped convict's mother pleads for him to turn himself in

Locals recall being woken up to movement in their homes, prompting call-and-response action from the intruder.

West Chester, PA (photo credit: CREATIVE COMMONS)
West Chester, PA
(photo credit: CREATIVE COMMONS)

In Chester County, Pennsylvania, a convicted murderer who escaped a local correctional facility where he was serving his prison sentence has been on the run for five days, prompting US authorities to launch a manhunt, according to US media.

Danelo Cavalcante escaped before 9am on Thursday morning from the Chester County Correctional Facility in Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania. Born in Brazil, Cavalante was serving a prison sentence for the brutal murder of an ex-girlfriend, and was wanted for a murder in his home country of Brazil.

Local news outlet ABC 6 Philadelphia reported that he's been spotted multiple times throughout the area. Lt. Col. George Bevins, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, said at press conference on Monday afternoon that Cavalcante was spotted Sunday by a state trooper, who chased him before losing him.

"We have secured that area and continue to actively search it. While there are a number of challenges, we are confident that if he is in there, we will find him," said Bivens.

Breaking and entering

Cavalcante has reportedly entered the homes of locals in search of food but has displayed confidence in breaking and entering.  According to reports, he communicated with a family through the light switch, telling them he was inside of their home. Local resident Ryan Drummond told US media he claimed to have seen Cavalcante inside his home on Friday night around 11:45 p.m.

"I woke up my wife and said, 'I think there might be someone downstairs,'" Drummond remembered. After hearing a rustling movement downstairs, he acted fast. "What I decided to do was flip the switch three or four or five times, paused, and then he flipped a light switch from downstairs. This was the moment of, 'Oh my God this guy is down there,'" said Drummond.

In a unique move, authorities say a recording from the prisoner's mother is being broadcast from helicopters flying over the search area, pleading for him to turn himself in.

"It's done in Spanish or actually Portuguese, and it's being broadcast in an effort to facilitate his peaceful surrender," said Bivens.