An “extremely dangerous” killer has escaped from prison in Pennsylvania — and authorities are blasting a message from the convict’s mother urging her son to turn himself in as they continue the manhunt for him.
Danelo Souza Cavalcante, 34, who was serving a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend, made a break from Chester County prison on Thursday, state troopers said.
He has since been spotted at least four times in a two-mile radius of Pocopson Township, with local police responding to more than 100 tips from residents — including allegations of possible break-ins of residential homes, 6ABC reports.
One of those sightings came late last night, when Cavalcante was seen on surveillance footage on a trail in the woods.
Maj. Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, said Monday that the agency has taken over the leading role in the investigation, bringing in more technology and personnel to help with the manhunt, including playing a voice recording from his mother from a helicopter canvassing the area.
“One of the things that we have done is we’ve had the individual’s mother make a recording asking him to surrender peacefully,” Bivens said.
“It’s being broadcast in an effort to facilitate his peaceful surrender,” Bivens said, adding that the message was recorded in Cavalcante’s native Portuguese.
Cavalcante was convicted on Aug. 16 of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, 38 times in front of her two young children in 2021.
At the time, Bivens said, there was an active warrant for his arrest for another alleged murder in his home country of Brazil in 2017.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole last week, and was set to be transferred to a state correctional facility in four weeks, according to 6ABC.
But on Thursday morning, Cavalcante somehow managed to escape the Chester County Prison, with investigators saying they believed he was heading south.
Authorities are still trying to figure out how he was able to escape.
The murderer has since been seen several times in the area, still wearing his prison-issued pants and light colored t-shirt — though he was somehow able to acquire a dark-colored backpack, prosecutors said.
One such possible sighting came from resident Ryan Drummond, who claims he saw Cavalcante inside his home at around 11:45 p.m. on Friday.
“I woke up my wife and said, ‘I think there might be someone downstairs,’” he recounted to 6ABC.
He said that after he heard some rustling, he rushed to the upstairs landing.
“What I decided to do was flip the switch three or four times, paused, and then he flipped a light switch from downstairs,” Drummond claimed. “This was the moment of ‘Oh my God, this guy is down there.’”
Drummond said he then made sure his children were still asleep in bed, and watched as Cavalcante walked out of the kitchen.
“I saw him walk out of the kitchen, through our living room, opened up that door [and] walked out,” Drummond told the local news outlet. “He was wearing a white shirt, had a bag.”
Then on Saturday, the escaped murderer was seen on residential surveillance camera at around 12:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of Lenape Road, just about a mile and a half from the prison, Bivens said at the news conference Monday.
A third sighting came Sunday afternoon when a state trooper spotted Cavalcante from a distance and chased after him, Bivens said, but the trooper was unable to capture the fugitive due to the terrain and other obstacles.
Bivens said Cavalcante looked a little worn and tired during the “very brief sighting.”
At around 6 p.m. on Monday, authorities received another report of a possible sighting of Cavalcante — but he was nowhere to be found when police arrived on the scene.
And early Tuesday morning, law enforcement in full tactical gear were seen speeding out of the area near Route 926 and Route 52, after he was seen on trail camera in Longwood Gardens at 10:33 p.m. the night before, 6ABC reported.
“We will continue this search, we will continue a hard search,” Bivens said at a separate news conference Tuesday morning.
“He is a bad guy, he needs to be in custody and we will catch him.”
Bivens also said he believes Cavalcante will “slip up,” noting: “We’re making him move, and that’s a good thing.”
Bivens noted that his team recognizes it is stressful for the local community, adding his assurances the state and local police — in concert with federal authorities — are working to bring the manhunt to a conclusion as soon as possible.
Prosecutors are also urging residents to remain indoors and lock their vehicles, as well as review any surveillance footage for possible sightings of Cavalcante.
“Danelo Cavalcante is considered an extremely dangerous man,” the notice from the DA’s office says. “Please remain vigilant in assisting with this search.
“If you see this individual, do not approach him. Call 911 immediately.”
It remains unclear how Cavalcante entered the US, as immigration officials told Fox News Digital he was not “inspected or admitted by a U.S, immigration official.”
“After his arrest in the United States, ICE became aware of his unlawful presence, and an ICE detainer was lodged against Souza Cavalcante,” an agency spokesperson said.
“ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) from the ERO Philadelphia Field Office are supporting local, state and federal partners with the search for Souza Cavalcante.”
Pennsylvania law enforcement officials and the US Marshals Service are offering a $10,000 reward for Cavalcante.