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Yoda the police dog unveiled as hero who was crucial to taking down killer who escaped from prison

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Yoda the police dog unveiled as hero who was crucial to taking down killer who escaped from prison

Featured Image Credit: El Paso Border Patrol Tactical Team BORTAC

A police dog has been praised after helping recapture a murderer who escaped from prison.

For the past two weeks, Danelo Cavalcante has been on the run after escaping from Chester County Prison in Pennsylvania last month.

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As the days passed by, cops had come under increasing scrutiny for having seemingly failed to make any progress.

Cavalcante even managed to take a gun from a property earlier this week, before disappearing again.

But now, a K-9, called Yoda, has been branded a hero for bringing the fugitive to justice.

The four-year-old Belgian Malinois is a member of a tactical unit from the El Paso Border Patrol Tactical Team BORTAC, just one of a handful of teams that worked on the hunt for Cavalcante.

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K-9 Yoda captured Danelo Cavalcante. Credit: El Paso Border Patrol Tactical Team BORTAC
K-9 Yoda captured Danelo Cavalcante. Credit: El Paso Border Patrol Tactical Team BORTAC

According to Ltnt Col Bivens, a police aircraft picked up a heat signal at around 1am yesterday (13 September).

Due to weather conditions, they had to return later in the day, when Yoda managed to sniff the 34-year-old out, chasing him down as he tried to crawl away from the cops.

A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection said: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been supporting our federal, state, and local partners during this intense 14-day search.

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"On Wednesday morning, Sept. 13, members of the United States Border Patrol, including elite BORTAC unit agents, together with our partners at the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and other federal, state and local law enforcement, apprehended escaped prisoner Danelo Cavalcante without incident."

Pictures have since been released, which show the moment Yoda and the team finally apprehended Cavalcante, who was bitten during the operation.

The 34-year-old was caught after two weeks on the run. Credit: Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections
The 34-year-old was caught after two weeks on the run. Credit: Pennsylvania Department Of Corrections

A photo of the killer shows his face covered in blood as he was led away by officers.

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He had been armed with a rifle at the time of his capture.

Speaking during a news conference, Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said: "Today is a great day in Chester County. Our nightmare is finally over.

“We have the best people in the business and we knew it was just a matter of time.”

She told reporters that it was a relief to finally put the case to bed and that it would come as some solace to the family of Deborah Brandao, who Cavalcante had been convicted of murdering.

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"They can now finally sleep again, " Ryan said.

Court documents show Cavalcante was charged with escaping prison and is set to stand before court on 27 September.

Writing on X, Gov. Josh Shapiro said: "Thanks to incredible work of @PAStatePolice, local authorities, federal partners, and the people of ChesCo, Danelo Cavalcante is in police custody.

"These dedicated law enforcement professionals worked tirelessly to protect us, and I couldn't be prouder to work alongside them."

Topics: News, Police, Crime, Animals, Dogs

Dominic Smithers
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