Leila Cavett disappearance

Suspect in Missing Mom's Case Appears in Court

The sole reason why Leila Cavett was in Florida was because of Shannon Ryan, who was later charged with kidnapping her son, the FBI said in court Friday

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What to Know

  • The FBI and local police have been searching for 21-year-old Leila Cavett since last month
  • The search for the young mother began when her 2-year-old son was found wandering alone in Miramar on July 26
  • Shannon Ryan, who was charged in the child's kidnapping, was deemed a "danger to society" and a flight risk by a judge in court Friday

The man charged in connection with the disappearance case of Leila Cavett appeared in court Friday, where a judge said he is a "danger to the community" and poses a flight risk.

Shannon Ryan, 38, was charged with kidnapping Cavett's son. The judge found probable cause for the charge and Ryan is being held in jail in pre-trial detention.

In court, an FBI agent detailed out evidence from a criminal complaint against Ryan saying surveillance cameras, cell phone towers and messages on social media showed that Cavett was only coming down to Florida to meet Ryan. 

Surveillance footage released Thursday shows the last known images of the 21-year-old mother before her mysterious disappearance on or about July 25, FBI officials said. The search for Cavett began the next day, July 26, where her 2-year-old son was found wandering in the parking lot of a Miramar apartment complex.

FBI officials said Cavett, who had previously been living in Georgia, came down to Florida on July 24, with a photo showing her at a Cracker Barrel in Vero Beach near Interstate 95 that day.

The next day, July 25, she was seen in the Fort Lauderdale Beach and Las Olas areas during the day and at a RaceTrac gas station in Hollywood that night.

The new footage released Thursday showed Cavett's truck at the gas station, and her exiting Ryan's Lexus at the gas station. It also shows her inside the gas station twice, the last time at around 10:15 p.m. on July 25.

Broward Sheriff's Office
Shannon Ryan

Ryan, a self-described witch and chakra master, had been arrested Saturday on two counts of lying to a federal officer, according to Broward Sheriff's Office jail records. He told authorities he had known Cavett since around January 2019 and said she was coming to Florida to sell him her truck, the complaint said. He said he paid her $3,000 for the truck.

Ryan said Cavett met him at the RaceTrac gas station on July 25 and said Cavett and her son went with him to Fort Lauderdale Beach that day in his Lexus, the complaint said.

The three returned to the gas station and Ryan said Cavett and her son left in a dark sedan with several men around 2:30 a.m. on July 26, the complaint said. He said it was the last time he saw her.

But surveillance footage didn't show Cavett leaving the gas station in a dark sedan, and surveillance footage from the area where Kamdyn was found showed a vehicle consistent with Ryan's Lexus in front of the apartment complex minutes before Kamdyn was found, the complaint said. Ryan admitted in a post-Miranda interview that he parked his car there to look at a nail in his tire.

Officials have been searching for Lelia Cavett since her young son was found alone in Miramar late last month.

The complaint said cell records showed Ryan’s phone was utilizing a tower in the area where Kamdyn was abandoned at the same time he was abandoned, and his car was observed on video surveillance in the area.

Ryan had also been using his girlfriend's debit card at the RaceTrac and Walmart, and records showed he purchased extra large garbage bags, two boxes of extra strength carpet odor eliminator, and advanced strength duct tape, the complaint said.

Authorities also recovered shovels with spots of a red substance, presumably blood, on them from the truck, the complaint said. The droplets were also found in rear driver’s side passenger seat, and the driver's side window was also broken. When authorities searched Ryan's Lexus, they found a half-empty container of all-purpose cleaner with bleach, numerous black trash bags, and a white powdery substance under the front passenger seat, the complaint said.

The complaint said that when authorities searched Ryan's iPhone, they found Google searches for “What day does commercial garbage pickup for Hollywood, Florida” and “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform.”

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.

The father of Leila Cavett is speaking out after a man is arrested in connection with her case.

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.

Authorities also recovered video surveillance footage from July 26 where Ryan can be observed parking his Lexus in front of the RaceTrac dumpster, the complaint said. The next day, Ryan was seen going back and forth from his Lexus to the dumpster.

At the gas station Thursday, authorities were in the process of removing the dumpsters.

The case will now move to a grand jury. 

In the 50-minute Facebook 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.

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