Pennsylvania fugitive Danelo Cavalcante has eluded authorities in Brazil for years

Mark Makela/Getty Images

(FIGUEIROPÓLIS, Brazil) — A convicted murderer who had eluded capture since escaping from a Pennsylvania prison nearly two weeks ago is accused of committing a separate slaying in his home country of Brazil in 2017.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, allegedly shot his friend Valter Junior Moreira dos Reis five times in the remote town of Figueirópolis in the northern Brazilian state of Tocantins in 2017. A motive for the alleged murder was unknown, according to documents from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security.

A warrant was issued for Cavalcante’s arrest on Nov. 13, 2017, but he had already fled Tocantins. State authorities had not sent the arrest order to the national warrant judiciary system, according to the documents.

In January 2018, Cavalcante was able to board a flight using his own passport in Brasilia and travel to Florida via Puerto Rico, entering the United States illegally. His trial in Brazil has been suspended until now. The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 11, according to the documents.

Cavalcante absconded from the Chester County Prison in southeastern Pennsylvania on Aug. 31, while awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve a life sentence without parole for fatally stabbing an ex-girlfriend in 2021.

He allegedly broke out of the jail by “crab walking” up a wall in a recreation yard, pushing his way through razor wire and accessing the roof, where he climbed down and made his getaway an hour before guards realized he was missing, according to Howard Holland, acting warden of the Chester County Prison.

State authorities launched a massive manhunt for the fugitive, recapturing him 12 days later.

While on the loose, Cavalcante was said to be armed with a .22-caliber rifle with a scope and flashlight that he allegedly stole from a resident’s garage in Chester County.

Authorities believe Cavalcante may have been attempting to return to his native Brazil. They had stressed that anyone who helps him will be prosecuted.

A $25,000 reward was available for information leading to Cavalcante’s recapture.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.