An escaped murderer’s mother has joined police efforts to find him, days after the 34-year-old man vanished from a Pennsylvania prison.
from Chester County Prison in West Chester, about an hour’s drive from Philadelphia, around 8:45 a.m. Thursday. He had still not been captured as of Monday afternoon.
Authorities are now broadcasting a message from Cavalcante’s mother in the search area, Rob Clark with the U.S. Marshals Office said.
“That was broadcast through the helicopter yesterday and through the patrol cars in the hopes that perhaps, 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. “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.”
Cavalcante is a Brazilian national fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Cavalcante also speaks some English, authorities said. His mother, who is in Brazil, recorded the message for him in Portuguese.
There have been four confirmed sightings of Cavalcante in a 2-mile radius in the days since his escape, officials said. The focus of the search has been in the area around Pocopson Township.
“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. “It’s very, very thick back there. There’s a lot of ravines. There’s a lot of hiding spots.”
The most recent sighting happened on Sunday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Colonel George Bivens said.
“It was a trooper, actually, that 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.
Officers have investigated two burglaries while searching for Cavalcante. They’ve asked that people in the community check on their neighbors.
“He is going to be looking for a means to sustain himself,” Bivens said. “He’s going to need clothing. He’s going to need food and just to get in out of the weather. It’s pretty hot out there.”
Cavalcante was convicted of first-degree murder on Aug. 16 for fatally stabbing his 33-year-old former girlfriend in April 2021. Her family has been notified of Cavalcante’s escape, authorities said. Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison. He’s also wanted in connection with a homicide in Brazil.
Authorities stressed that people should not approach Cavalcante if they see him. Anyone who spots him or has information should call 911. The Marshals Service and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office are offering a combined $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Officials have not shared details on how Cavalcante escaped, saying it’s under investigation.
“The prison is very aware of whatever vulnerabilities they have and they have made efforts to correct those vulnerabilities,” Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said.