Pennsylvania police are broadcasting a message from escaped murderer Danelo Cavalcante’s mother urging him to surrender, as authorities narrow in on a 2-mile area where they believe he is hiding.
Cavalcante, 34, broke out of the Chester County Prison, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, at around 8:50 a.m. Thursday, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said. The district attorney, Deb Ryan, described Cavalcante as “an extremely dangerous man.”
The Brazilian national was convicted of first-degree murder on August 16 for killing his former girlfriend, 33-year-old Deborah Brandão, in 2021. He was sentenced to life without parole last week and is also wanted in Brazil on suspicion of another murder.
As the manhunt enters its fifth day, police have honed in on a deeply wooded area with a 2-mile radius near the prison, said Robert Clark, supervisory deputy US Marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at a Monday afternoon news conference.
And they’re using a unique tactic to draw in the convicted murderer: Helicopters and patrol cars are blasting a message in Portuguese from Cavalcante’s mother, urging him to surrender, Clark said.
“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,” Clark said.
“Perhaps this is what puts him over the edge where we can get a peaceful surrender,” he said.
Clark did not release the exact contents of the message but said “she’s just encouraging that his family loves him, and that she wants him to surrender. And that’s what our hope is as well.”
There have been four credible sightings of Cavalcante within a small area since he escaped, according to authorities. The most recent sighting was Sunday afternoon by a trooper, Lt. Colonel George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said during the news conference.
Police have also investigated two burglaries in the area. While officials cannot confirm the burglaries were committed by Cavalcante, “they are of interest to us,” Bivens said Monday.
Bivens added police are working to “stress” Cavalcante. They don’t know if or how the escapee is obtaining food and water in the thick woods, he said.
“I intend to stress him. I want to push him hard. He’ll make mistakes,” he said. “He’ll show himself. He’s already shown himself, we believe, a few times.”
Officials are authorized to use deadly force if they find Cavalcante and he does not actively surrender, Bivens said.
Authorities encouraged residents to call the police if they see anything suspicious and to avoid interacting with Cavalcante if they do see him. They also urged residents to report homes left vacant over the Labor Day vacation so police can check if Cavalcante is using any of those properties to hide.
Another prisoner escaped from Chester County prison earlier this year, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said during Monday’s news conference.
“The prison is very aware of whatever vulnerabilities they had, and they have made efforts to correct those vulnerabilities,” the district attorney said.
CNN’s Danny Freeman and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.