FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A 38-year-old self-proclaimed “witch” from Alabama, who claims to be the last person to see missing mom Leila Cavett, has been charged with kidnapping her son.
In addition to the kidnapping charge, Shannon Ryan is also charged with two counts of lying to a federal officer. Ryan is being held at the main Broward jail without bail. His detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.READ MORE: South Floridians Brave Hot Weather To Get Vaccinated
Cavett, 21, was reported missing on July 26 after her two-year-old son Kamdyn was found wandering alone in a Miramar apartment complex.
Last week, Ryan posted a nearly hour-long video on his Facebook page claiming to know Cavett and to have been the last person to see her. He said he’s committed crimes in the past but has “transformed” into the “God” he is today.
In the 51-minute video, Ryan said he met Cavett about a year ago when the mother and her son showed up at his house in Alabama claiming their car had broken down. According to Ryan, Cavett asked to use the phone and said she needed to figure out a way to get back to Jasper, Georgia where she lived. Ryan claimed he allowed Cavett and her son to stay on his couch.
FBI Miami Special Agent in Charge George Piro said Cavett arrived in South Florida on July 25, disappeared on July 26, and her white Silverado 3500 pickup truck was found in Hollywood on July 28. It was found in a Walmart parking lot at 441 and Hollywood Blvd. right next to a RaceTrac gas station. Its “baby on board” sign still displayed in a passenger side window.
Law enforcement set up surveillance on the truck and watched as Ryan approached it with keys in hand.
During questioning, Ryan reportedly said that Cavett came to South Florida to sell him her truck. They arranged to meet at the RaceTrac on Hollywood Blvd. That’s where Ryan said he met up with Cavett and her son on July 25th, around 2:30 p.m., and he gave her $3,000 cash for her truck.
Ryan reportedly said that the three of them then went to Fort Lauderdale Beach in the afternoon in his 2004 Gold Lexus ES 330, leaving the truck behind. Ryan allegedly told investigators that when they went back to the gas station, they parked at the pumps. Ryan told investigators that around 2:30 a.m. on July 26, Cavett and her son left in a dark sedan with several men, according to the report.
He said that was the last time he saw them.
“Law enforcement reviewed the video surveillance footage from the RaceTrac gas station to determine whether L.C. (Cavett) left that morning in a dark sedan. The video surveillance did not show Ryan’s car at the pumps where he described it, nor did it show L.C. leaving in a dark sedan,” according to the arrest affidavit.
In reviewing surveillance video from the area where Kamdyn was found, investigators spotted Ryan’s Gold Lexus directly in front of the apartment complex only minutes before he was found. They said Ryan’s Lexus is very distinguishable because it is missing the front bumper.
In reviewing surveillance video from the Racetrac gas station, investigators said Ryan’s car left the gas station at approximately 8:15 a.m. that morning and returned at approximately 8:38 a.m., “which is consistent with the time frame in which the child was abandoned and recovered,” according to the report.
The Racetrac gas station is a short drive, less than 3 miles, from where the child was found.READ MORE: 'Health In The Hood' Initiative, Food Distribution Like No Other
A check of cellphone records shows Ryan was in the area where Kamdyn was abandoned and later found.
According to the arrest affidavit, Ryan had used Cavett’s credit card to make several purchases at the RaceTrac and the nearby Walmart on July 26th. One purchase at Walmart was for Hefty Strong 39 Gallon Extra Large Trash Drawstring Bags and two boxes of Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator.
Approximately, 15 minutes later, video surveillance and receipts show that Ryan went back and purchased a roll of Advanced Strength Duct Tape.
On August 9th, 2020, Ryan posted on his Facebook page about his relationship with Cavett and how he had to cover a window on her truck with a garbage bag because it was broken and damaged.
However, video surveillance footage of Cavett’s arrival at the gas station showed all of the windows to be intact as was the rear mirror.
Investigators got a warrant to search the truck. They found the driver’s side window was broken and the driver’s side visor was bent out of its ordinary position.
“Among other things, law enforcement recovered shovels with small droplets of a red substance on them,” according to the arrest affidavit.
A friend of Ryan’s told investigators that he attempted to sell him the truck on July 26th for $1,000.
On August 15th, federal agents searched Ryan’s Lexus and 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.
In interviewing workers at the RaceTrac, one said they remembered him using the gas station’s dumpster. Another employee said they remembered seeing children’s toys and women’s clothing inside the dumpster on July 26th.
“On August 15, 2020, a federal search warrant was executed on the iPhone Ryan was using and had in his possession. A forensic extraction of the iPhone revealed Google searches from July 26, 2020. Specifically. Law enforcement recovered a Google search at 12:01 AM for “What day does commercial garbage pickup for Hollywood, Florida.” Additionally, law enforcement recovered another search at 1:45 AM the same day for “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform,” according to the report.
Chloroform is commonly used to incapacitate a victim by rendering them unconscious.
Investigators also noted that Cavett, who used Facebook messenger to stay up to date with family and friends before her disappearance, did not post anything after July 26th.MORE NEWS: Famous Local Chef Antonio Bachour Pays It Forward Raising Money For Ronald McDonald House
Ryan has not been charged in Cavett’s disappearance at this time.