Leila Cavett disappearance

Feds Drop Kidnapping, State Adds New Charge in South Florida Missing Mom Case

Shannon Ryan, 39, was arrested this past August following an FBI investigation into the disappearance of 21-year-old Leila Cavett

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A man arrested following the disappearance of a young mother in South Florida is no longer facing a federal kidnapping charge but is now facing a new state charge in the case.

Shannon Ryan, 39, was arrested this past August following an FBI investigation into the disappearance of 21-year-old Leila Cavett.

Ryan, a self-described witch and chakra master, had been accused of taking Cavett's 2-year-old son, Kamdyn, but court records released Wednesday showed the federal kidnapping charge against Ryan was dropped.

Broward County jail records showed Ryan now faces a state charge of child neglect without great bodily harm.

Miramar Police said Thursday that they filed the charges, but gave no other information.

Ryan remained behind bars on a $100,000 bond Thursday, records showed.

Broward Sheriff's Office
Shannon Ryan

Cavett, of Atlanta, was last seen on the night of July 25, just hours before her son was found wandering alone in a shirt and diaper at a Miramar apartment complex. The mother and son had arrived in South Florida the day before she went missing.

Investigators determined that she spent time in several Broward County communities, including Hollywood, Miramar and Fort Lauderdale. Her vehicle was found July 28 in Hollywood.

Court documents said Ryan told investigators he has known Cavett since around January 2019, and that she had come to Florida to sell him her pickup truck.

In a 50-minute video on his Facebook page, Ryan claimed he met Cavett outside his home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, when she showed up in the middle of the night with her then 1-year-old baby, saying her car broke down and she needed shelter.

Ryan said he let them stay there for two months, teaching Cavett witchcraft before she moved out.

In a criminal complaint filed in Fort Lauderdale, the FBI said video evidence didn't support Ryan’s claims that he saw Cavett and her son get into another person’s vehicle at a RaceTrac gas station in Hollywood. Investigators also say he bought odor eliminator, duct tape and extra-large garbage bags around the time of her disappearance.

Authorities interviewed several employees of the RaceTrac gas station and one employee recognized a picture of Ryan and told law enforcement that they had seen Ryan using the RaceTrac dumpster, the complaint said.

Another employee specifically remembered seeing children’s toys and women’s clothing inside the dumpster on or around July 26, the complaint said. The employee recognized a distinct pair of floral pants worn by Cavett in a picture shown to them.

Investigators later removed the dumpsters from the gas station as part of the investigation. They've also searched a Pompano Beach landfill as part of the investigation.

Cavett's family said they aren’t giving up on her, but are angry that the kidnapping charge was dropped.

"I was angry, I was devastated. We all were. I think it’s unfair," Cavett’s sister, Curina, said in a Zoom call Thursday. "Whether she's alive or she’s not, she out there somewhere regardless if she’s breathing or she’s not, she’s somewhere and I feel like they need to put more effort into finding her. We need justice. We need rest to this case."

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