He tried to flee then, too, but was arrested the next day in Virginia and brought back to Pennsylvania to stand trial. In August, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Nine days later, he escaped.
In his brief attempt to flee before his arrest in 2021, Mr. Cavalcante had been helped by acquaintances, including a man living with his sister. On Saturday, after stealing the van, Mr. Cavalcante went to the houses of two of his former co-workers looking for help, but no one met him. Instead, they notified the police.
Still, Colonel Bivens said on Wednesday that “there were people who were intent and intended to assist him,” in his flight, but that the authorities were able to prevent these potential abettors from getting in contact with him. Colonel Bivens included Mr. Cavalcante’s sister among them; she was recently detained by immigration authorities for overstaying a visa and is in the process of being deported.
The authorities said that Mr. Cavalcante would soon be taken to a Pennsylvania state prison to serve out his life sentence. Prosecutors in the Brazilian state of Tocantins, where Mr. Cavalcante has been charged in connection with the 2017 killing, said in a statement that they would hold the first hearing in that case next month, and that Mr. Cavalcante would be required to join the hearing via video call.
While there are many other unresolved questions about the escape, not least how the Chester County Prison has allowed multiple jailbreaks this year, many residents in the area are, for the first time in nearly two weeks, breathing a sigh of relief.
“We were watching streams on YouTube and listening to police scanners,” said Robert Russell, 27, a father of four who lives next to a John Deere dealership where, on Wednesday morning, his family saw officers hauling a haggard-looking Mr. Cavalcante out of the woods. “My wife and I said, ‘At last, we can open the blinds, let in the light, let in the fresh air.’”
Reporting was contributed by Elise Young in South Coventry Township, Pa., Joel Wolfram in Philadelphia and Ana Ionova in Rio de Janeiro.