Timeline of massive search for escaped Pennsylvania inmate Danelo Cavalcante

The convicted murderer escaped from the Chester County Prison on Aug. 31.

September 13, 2023, 5:21 PM

Police were on the heels of a convicted murderer who escaped from a suburban Philadelphia prison in late August for two weeks -- until his dramatic capture early Wednesday.

Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was convicted of first-degree murder in August for fatally stabbing his former girlfriend in 2021.

PHOTO: This photo provided by the Chester County Prison shows Danelo Cavalcante.
This photo provided by the Chester County Prison shows Danelo Cavalcante. Cavalcante, convicted this month of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, escaped on Aug. 31, 2023, from the suburban Philadelphia prison and prosecutors say he is also wanted in his native Brazil in a separate slaying.
Chester County Prison via AP

Days after being sentenced, he broke out of the Chester County Prison in Pocopson Township -- where he was waiting to be transferred to a state correctional institution -- by copying a method another inmate used to escape from the prison weeks prior, officials said.

Cavalcante is also wanted for a homicide charge in his native country of Brazil, authorities said.

Here's a look at major developments in the massive manhunt.

PHOTO: Illustration
Key Events in Danelo Cavalcante Manhunt
ABC News

May 19

Inmate Igor Vidra Bolte breaks out of Chester County Prison by scaling a wall in an exercise yard to gain access to the roof, according to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News. Bolte, who later told authorities he was a rock climber, then gets out of the prison by climbing down from the roof by the visitors' entrance where there is less security and running off the grounds on the south side of the prison, according to the complaint.

A tower officer who observed Bolte leaving the yard area contacts control immediately, and the inmate is caught within 5 minutes of escaping, authorities said.

Aug. 16

Cavalcante is convicted of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing his former girlfriend 38 times in front of her two young children in 2021, officials said.

Aug. 22

Cavalcante is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Aug. 30

Howard Holland is named the acting warden of the Chester County Prison, a day after the prison board accepted the resignation of longtime warden Ronald Phillips.

Aug. 31

The escape of inmate Danelo Cavalcante from a prison in West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S. is seen in a screen grab from a video released Sept. 6, 2023.
Chester County District Attorney via Reuters

Cavalcante escapes from the prison at 8:51 a.m. by "crab walking" up a wall, pushing his way through razor wire installed after Bolte's escape, running across the prison roof and scaling more razor wire, before making his getaway, according to Holland. The tower officer on duty at the time does not observe nor report the escape, according to Holland.

Cavalcante is first noticed missing about an hour later, after inmates are brought back in from the exercise yard. The prison is locked down at 9:50 a.m. and a public escape siren is sounded at 10:01 a.m., according to Holland.

Chester County Commissioners and the U.S. Marshals are offering a combined $10,000 reward in the case.

Sept. 2

Cavalcante is recorded around 1:43 a.m. on a residential Ring doorbell camera on the 1800 block of Lenape Road in Pocopson Township, about 1.5 miles from the prison, officials say. He is wearing a white T-shirt, white sneakers and a backpack.

Sept. 4

Cavalcante is recorded twice on a private trail camera set up at Longwood Gardens, a sprawling horticulture attraction about 5 miles southwest of the prison -- first at 8:21 p.m. walking north in the gardens and then by the same camera at 9:33 p.m. walking south -- according to Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police. He is wearing a backpack, a duffel sling-type pack and a hooded sweatshirt.

Escapee Danelo Cavalcante is seen in trail-cam video on the property of Longwood Gardens, Sept. 4, 2023, in Pennsylvania.
PA State Police via X

Sept. 7

The total reward for information that leads to the capture of Cavalcante increases to $20,000.

The corrections officer who was on duty in the guard tower when Cavalcante escaped is fired, according to the Chester County District Attorney's Office.

Sept. 9

Cavalcante allegedly steals a white Ford work van from Baily's Dairy, about three-fourths of a mile from the perimeter around Longwood Gardens, according to Bivens.

At 9:52 p.m., he is captured on a video doorbell camera in East Pikeland Township, more than 20 miles from Longwood Gardens, at a residence that belongs to a man who once worked with Cavalcante, according to Bivens.

Escaped convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante is seen with an altered appearance in photos released on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Pennsylvania State Police

The previously bearded fugitive is now clean-shaven and wearing a green hooded sweatshirt over a dark baseball hat, and is seen driving the white Ford van. The former colleague is not home but speaks with Cavalcante via the video doorbell, according to Bivens.

Around 10:07 p.m., Cavalcante shows up at another former work colleague's home in nearby Phoenixville, according to Bivens. That person is not home but a friend sees Cavalcante and calls the former work colleague, according to Bivens.

Sept. 10

The stolen van is found abandoned with no fuel at 10:40 a.m. in a field behind a barn in East Nantmeal Township, according to Bivens.

Sept. 11

Cavalcante's prison shoes are recovered and another resident reports a pair of work boots were stolen from her porch, according to Bivens.

Around 10 p.m., a shirtless Cavalcante allegedly steals a .22-caliber rifle with a scope and flashlight from a resident's garage on Coventryville Road in East Nantmeal Township, according to police. The homeowner, who is in the garage at the time, fires several shots at Cavalcante with a pistol, but the fugitive flees and is not believed to be harmed, according to Bivens.

The reward for information leading to Cavalcante's capture increases to $25,000.

Sept. 12

Helicopter video from WPVI shows the ongoing search for Danelo Cavalcante in Chester County, Pa on Sept. 12, 2023.

Upward of 500 law enforcement are engaged in securing a perimeter, which is about 3 miles east to west and about 2.5 miles north to south and includes PA 23 to the north, PA 100 to the east, Fairview and Nantmeal Mill roads to the south and Iron Bridge and County Park roads to the west in Chester County, according to Bivens.

Sept. 13

Cavalcante was captured after a 14-day manhunt, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

ABC News' Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.