Brazilian Gang Leader Who Disguised Himself as Teenage Daughter in Failed Prison Escape Found Dead in His Cell

The Brazilian gang leader who made global headlines when he tried to sneak himself out of prison dressed as his daughter has been found dead in his cell.

The prison service of Rio de Janeiro said that 42-year-old Clauvinho da Silva, who was known as "Baixinho" (Portuguese for "shorty,") was found dead by officers at the high security prison in Rio de Janeiro. It appeared that he had taken his own life, by hanging himself with a sheet, Brazilian news source reported.

Silva, who was a member of the Red Command drug faction had been serving a 73 year sentence. He had made a bizarre attempt to escape the Gericino prison in the west of the city by wearing a silicone mask, a black bra and wig, and a skin-tight T-shirt emblazoned with three pink doughnuts.

Clauvino da Silva
Clauvino da Silva was caught trying to escape jail disguised as his teenage daughter. Gericinó prison

The disguise had been brought in when his daughter and seven women, one of whom was pregnant, had come to see him during visiting hours on Saturday. Suspicious officials stopped Silva as he tried to leave jail and demanded he strip before their cameras. The video of his unveiling went viral.

He was moved into solitary confinement as punishment. His daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, who had remained behind in the prison as part of the plan, faces charges of trying to abet a prison escape, and could face two years behind bars, according to Rio newspaper, Extra.

In 2013, da Silva had tried to escape from jail through its sewers with several dozen other inmates.

This incident is the latest spotlight cast on Brazil's struggling prison system. Last week, 58 prisoners were killed when members of a criminal gang in one block invaded an annex where members of a rival gang were locked up in Altamira in the Amazon state of Pará. Sixteen inmates were decapitated in the fight which followed. Many more died from smoke asphyxiation after the fighting prisoners set a cell on fire.

A report by The National Justice Council stated that conditions at the jail were "terrible" and the prison contained twice as many inmates as it was built for, according to the BBC.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours every day.