(NewsNation) — Danelo Cavalcante, after escaping from Pennsylvania’s Chester County Prison in late August, was apprehended and taken into police custody Wednesday after a two-week-long search by law enforcement.
A plane fitted with a thermal imaging camera picked up Cavalcante’s heat signal in the woods, which let tactical teams on the ground know to secure the area, surround him, and move in with search dogs. Still armed with a rifle he stole from a homeowner’s garage, Cavalcante tried to evade police by crawling through underbrush, but a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer released a search dog that subdued him.
“Our nightmare is finally over, and the good guys won,” said Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan.
Now, Cavalcante, who was already sentenced to life for the killing of his ex-girlfriend, was taken to Avondale State Police barracks for further processing before being transferred to a state correctional facility, Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police said at a news conference.
NewsNation legal contributor Sara Azari said Cavalcante will be put into a maximum-security prison after being processed.
“He’s going to be, even within that prison, within very stringent confines because he has a history of flight,” Azari, who co-hosts “The Presumption” podcast, said.
Cavalcante had been in county jail at the time he fled, as he was waiting to be transferred to a state institution to begin serving his life sentence.
To get out of Chester County Prison, Cavalcante “crab-walked” up the walls of the jail’s recreation yard, and climbed over razor wire.
NewsNation national security contributor Tracy Walder said Chester County was a medium security facility, where Cavalcante had more freedom of movement.
“That’s why he was able to be on that yard,” she explained. “When he goes to maximum security, most of his time in the yard is going to be monitored with maybe just him and one other prisoner for a very finite period of time. Meals are going to be taken inside your cell.”
Azari said Cavalcante probably won’t have much, if any, recreation time in light of the “extraordinary circumstances” of his escape. A former U.S. Marshal, John Muffler, who spoke to NewsNation’s Keleigh Beeson, said Cavalcante will likely be put into isolation.
“My guess is he’s going to spend some time in solitary, which most people don’t upon transport,” Walder said. “Solitary is usually something that’s actually used as a last resort.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said in a news release Cavalcante will be arraigned on a felony escape charge filed on Aug. 31 — the day he fled.
As he’s already been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Henry said her office will be seeking for Cavalcante to remain in custody. The next court date regarding the escape charge, after the arraignment, will be a preliminary hearing, Henry said.
“We will keep the public advised, as appropriate, on court proceedings,” Henry said.
The Office of the Attorney General says it will handle the investigation and prosecution regarding Cavalcante’s escape.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.