Danelo Cavalcante’s Parents and Family: Meet The Murderer’s Mother Iracema, Father and Sister

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Family of Danelo Cavalcante, 34, who escaped from prison while serving a life sentence for killing his ex-girlfriend, asked him to surrender peacefully before he was later captured.

Danelo Souza Cavalcante is a 34 year old convicted murder who fled from Pennsylvania’s Chester County Prison on Thursday, August 31, 2023, (roughly a week) after he was sentenced to life for murdering his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao.

Cavalcante stabbed Brandao 38 times in front of her young children, ages four and seven, after she learned he was wanted in his native Brazil on homicide charges.

A jury convicted him of murder after 15 minutes of deliberations.

Following his prison break, a search was launched when cops noticed he was missing from his cell and the Pennsylvania State Police have taken over the manhunt.

When he was on the run, about 500 officers, including members of the Pennsylvania State Police, FBI, US Marshalls, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were searching for the fugitive around the clock.

After almost two weeks on the run, Cavalcante was rearrested on Wednesday, September 13.

Days after his escape from prison, a new report about his mother who desperately asked him to surrender to the police hit the internet and following that, many were curious to learn more about his family. Read on for more.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, escaped prison roughly a week after he was handed a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend
Danelo Cavalcante, 34, escaped prison roughly a week after he was handed a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend

Who are Danelo Cavalcante’s parents?

Pennsylvania prisoner Danelo Cavalcante was born to Iracema Cavalcante (mother) and Mr. Cavalcante (father).

Aside from his parents names, no other details about them (including their images) have been publicly made known.

He has a sister whose name is currently not known, too.

Per reports, after stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death, Cavalcante’s lawyer said he called his mother and sister to confess to the killing.

There have been multiple sightings of the Cavalcante since he escaped in August
There have been multiple sightings of the Cavalcante since he escaped in August. Credit: AP

What have Danelo Cavalcante’s family said so far?

At the moment, only Danelo Cavalcante’s mom, Iracema, has reacted to her jailed son’s prison break. Speaking with The New York Times, Iracema who still resides in Brazil spoke out on her son’s crime.

As any mother would do, Iracema defended her son saying “he had no other choice.”

“Did it happen? It happened. But it happened because of the stranglehold she [Deborah] put on him, the stance she took with him,” Iracema told the outlet.

“It wasn’t femicide. He had to, he had no other choice.”

While she agreed that Cavalcante should face the consequences of his actions, she believes life in prison was too harsh of a sentence.

Iracema said: “If I said my son didn’t make a mistake, I’d be lying. I know what my son did was wrong. I know my son should pay for his mistake.

“But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Not pay with his life.”

Prior to her interview, cops got hold of a message from Danelo’s mom in an effort to get the convicted killer to surrender.

She recorded a message in Portuguese that had been broadcast from police helicopters and vehicles in the search area.

“As desperate as he is, maybe he has a change of thought and hears his mother telling him to surrender and his family cares about him,” Rob Clark with the US Marshals Office said.

“He’s desperate, he’s hungry, he’s been in the woods, he’s dirty.

“Perhaps this is what puts him over the edge so that we can get a peaceful surrender.”

Investigators are hoping that Cavalcante has reached a breaking point after five days on the run.

“I intend to stress him. I want to push him hard,” Bivens said.

“He’ll make mistakes. He’ll show himself. He’s already shown himself, we believe, a few times.”

Cavalcante was convicted last month of killing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her children in 2021
Cavalcante was convicted last month of killing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandao, in front of her children in 2021Credit: Chester County District Attorney’s Office

How did Danelo Cavalcante escape from prison?

Authorities did not immediately revealed how the criminal managed to escape Chester County Prison in West Chester, Pennsylvania Prison, however, a footage of the incident was released on the internet.

He broke out of the county prison by crab-walking up a wall, scaling a barbed wire fence, and running across the prison roof without detection.

Cavalcante was waiting to be transferred to a state correctional institution when he escaped.

He was spotted on a residential surveillance camera about 1.5 miles from the jail he escaped from, according to the Chester County District Attorney.

Chilling CCTV footage showed Danelo Cavalcante walking through a wooded area near Chester County Prison, Pocopson Township, Pennsylvania, at around 1.40am on Saturday morning.

It was caught on a residential security camera and a witness reported they saw someone who fitted Cavalcante’s description.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and white sneakers.

His clothes appeared to be prison-issued and he was carrying a backpack.

In addition to broadcasting his mother’s message, cops hope that state police will bring more technology and personnel to help in the search.

Pennsylvania law enforcement has teamed up with the US Marshals Service to offer a $10,000 reward for Cavalcante’s capture.

The killer was captured on a residential surveillance camera on Saturday, September 2, at around 12.30am
The killer was captured on a residential surveillance camera on Saturday, September 2, at around 12.30am. Credit: ABC

Danelo Cavalcante was sighted severally since escaping from jail

Cavalcante was spotted many times in the past almost 14 days of the manhunt.

He was most recently seen on Sunday afternoon by a trooper who chased him but was unable to take him into custody.

“[The trooper] observed him at some distance, gave chase, but was unable because of the terrain and some other obstacles there, was unable to get to him before he disappeared,” Bivens said.

The state police spokesperson said that the escapee looked tired during the “very brief sighting.”

The killer was seen on a residential surveillance camera a day earlier at around 12.30am.

“When you talk a 2-mile radius, you’ve got to remember this is a 5-foot tall gentleman, 120 pounds, and this is a heavily, heavily wooded area,” Clark said of the area where he is hiding.

“It’s very, very thick back there. There’s a lot of ravines. There’s a lot of hiding spots.”

Families who live in the Pocopson Township area have been told to stay inside, lock their windows and doors, and call cops immediately about anything that seems suspicious.

They have also been asked to check on their neighbors and if they are not home, tell police so empty properties can be checked.

How did Danelo Cavalcante get caught?

After 14 days of eluding capture, Danelo Cavalcante, 34 was arrested in a heavily wooded area on Wednesday morning.

Shortly after 8am, Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens said tactical teams moved in on an area where a heat source had been detected hours earlier.

“We had the element of surprise,” Bivens said, adding that Cavalcante did not know he was surrounded.

The heat source led authorities to a pile of wood logs at a John Deere store in South Coventry Township.

Cavalcante began “crawling through thick underbrush, taking his rifle with him as he went, Bivens disclosed.

Fugitive killer Danelo Cavalcante, 34, has finally been captured after he reportedly invaded a home and grabbed a rifle
Fugitive killer Danelo Cavalcante, 34, has finally been captured after he reportedly invaded a home and grabbed a rifleCredit: Pennsylvania State Police

A police dog was released to subdue him, and tactical teams moved in to make the arrest as Cavalcante tried to fight off the K-9 and escape.

A bloodied Cavalcante, wearing a Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt and rugged boots, was pictured handcuffed from behind and surrounded by heavily armed Border Patrol Strike Force officials.

The clothes were cut off Cavalcante as he was mounted on the back of an armed Special Response Team vehicle.

He suffered a minor bite wound from the police dog, Bivens said.

Cavalcante will be transferred to a state correctional institute, where he will serve the remainder of his sentence.