Mom of escaped murder defends murders: ‘He had no other choice’

Danelo Cavalcante, who had previously been convicted of murder, was captured on Wednesday after eluding police for nearly two weeks. His mother, Iracema, believes his actions were driven by desperation, suggesting that Deborah Brandao, his former girlfriend and victim, played a role in her own fate.

In a recent discussion, Iracema shared her perspective on the events, stating, “It did happen. However, the situation she placed him in and her own actions contributed to the outcome.” She was alluding to the moment when Danelo tragically attacked Brandao in the presence of her young children.

In a conversation with the New York Times, Iracema challenged the description of the incident as femicide, mentioning, “He felt trapped. He believed he had no alternatives.”

Authorities in Pennsylvania claim that in April 2021, 34-year-old Danelo ended the life of 33-year-old Brandao after she discovered evidence of another murder he committed in Brazil four years earlier. Iracema countered this by saying the earlier victim, Valtar Júnior Moreira dos Reis, had initially posed a threat to Danelo.

Iracema, while worried about her son’s future, shared photographs of him being escorted by a SWAT team. She recognized his faults, stating, “To say he did no wrong would be untrue.” She hopes he receives a fair punishment that doesn’t endanger his life.

In the quest to locate Danelo, officials broadcasted a message from Iracema, encouraging her son to give himself up. However, she has reservations about how he might be treated while in custody or by the police.

Details of Danelo’s breakout reveal that surveillance footage captured him slipping out of Chester County Prison by navigating between two walls on Aug. 31, a mere week after he was sentenced to life for Brandao’s murder. Later videos indicated he modified his look by removing facial hair.

The urgency to find Danelo heightened when a homeowner claimed to have shot at an intruder resembling him. This led SWAT teams and police to conduct a search in South Coventry Township. Two helicopters also patrolled the area based on this information.

The Pennsylvania State Police advised locals to remain indoors and maintain safety measures until Danelo was detained.

In 2017, Danelo was reportedly involved in a public murder of Moreira. He subsequently disappeared into rural areas, with residents remembering him as a reserved, diligent person known to have a collection of weapons. Danelo moved to the US in 2018, hoping for a new beginning. According to Iracema, her son was content in the US, unaware of the impending difficulties.