A Brazilian drug dealer who impersonated his teenage daughter in an elaborate bid to escape prison over the weekend has been found dead in his cell, Brazilian authorities said Tuesday.

Clauvino da Silva, 42 years old, apparently hanged himself in the maximum security prison in Rio de Janeiro, according to local media reports citing Brazil’s authorities. His demise came just days after his attempt to walk out of the penitentiary dressed as his daughter was stopped by prison authorities.

da Silva, nicknamed “Shorty” for his small stature, made headlines around the world when he donned a dark wig, silicone mask and items of women’s clothing in his attempt to break out of prison.


But his nervous disposition caught the attention of prison guards who celebrated foiling the attempt by releasing a video of his unmasking on Sunday.


da Silva had been serving a sentence of nearly 74 years for drug smuggling, according to the BBC.

In the video that went viral, da Silva can be seen staring ahead with his hands behind his back as guards remove his wig and glasses. He then reluctantly removes his jacket and pink donut-themed T-shirt before catching his black bra as the straps tumble down his upper body.

Finally, he uses both hands to tug the silicone mask up over his head.

With his disguise gone, he stood tattooed and topless with a sheepish look on his face as he realized his bid for freedom had failed.


Investigators are probing whether relatives and friends who had visited da Silva, including his 19-year-old daughter, had smuggled the items he used for the attempted prison break.

It was not his first attempted escape. In 2013, he and 30 other inmates fled a prison through the sewers, but da Silva was later caught, the BBC reported.

Da Silva’s escape attempt came a week after Brazil’s prison system drew attention worldwide following a violent riot between rival gangs where at least 57 inmates were killed — 16 of them decapitated.

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