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Man charged with kidnapping in Leila Cavett case is ‘danger to community,’ judge says

A self-proclaimed witch who has been charged with kidnapping after a 2-year-old boy was found alone in Miramar was transported Friday morning to the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale from the Broward County Mail Jail, where he will go before a judge.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – New details emerged during a court appearance of the self-proclaimed witch who has been charged with kidnapping. Shannon Ryan appeared Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, where he faced a judge for the first time in connection with the disappearance of 21-year-old mother, Leila Cavett.

After an hour-long hearing, Federal Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow ruled Shannon Ryan as an “incredible danger to the community” and a “flight risk.”

During the hearing, investigators from the FBI said they were able to link Ryan and his connection to the missing mother using surveillance cameras, cellphone towers and social media accounts.

(See the surveillance video)

The investigation by the FBI has revealed that Cavett was in Hollywood to see Ryan. Investigators said she did not have contact via social media or cell phone conversations with anyone else in the area.

An FBI agent told the court that Facebook messaging indicated that Cavett came to Hollywood to become Ryan’s apprentice. Ryan is a self-proclaimed with and practices witchcraft. Ryan told investigators she had come to Hollywood to sell him her pick up truck for $3,000.

Walmart and RaceTrac cameras in Hollywood were key in following the actions of both Cavett and Ryan over a three-day period.Investigators said while she was traveling from Georgia to Florida, she did connect with family in Alabama and had sent them pictures.

The last time Cavett was seen alive was Saturday on surveillance cameras inside the Race Trac gas station.

A criminal complaint states that Ryan used his phone to search for commercial garbage pickup dates in Hollywood, and was seen by a gas station employee using one of the RaceTrac dumpsters. The employee said they later noticed children’s toys and women’s clothing inside.

According to the complaint, surveillance video showed Ryan’s car directly in front of an apartment complex shortly before Cavett’s 2-year-old son, Kamdyn, was found there on the morning of July 26. Cell phone tracking also indicated that Ryan was near the apartment complex at that time.

Ryan told the FBI he was in the area to exam a nail in his tire.

On Monday, July 27, investigators said Ryan is seen on RaceTrac cameras at the gas station’s dumpsters. He is driving both the Lexus seen in surveillance and the Chevy pick up truck at different times and making numerous trips.

While the Chevrolet truck was reported as Cavett’s, investigators said she did not own the pick up. In court, investigators said the truck had several owners,m but the registration was not legally changed. Investigators are also unsure who owns the Lexus that Ryan is seen driving.

The FBI shared surveillance video of Cavett at the RaceTrac, where they took pictures of two dumpsters Thursday, before hauling them onto two flatbed trucks.

The dumpsters were covered with tarps.

Authorities said detectives also discovered that Ryan had been using a girlfriend’s debit card to make purchases at the RaceTrac and at a Walmart.

Among the items purchased were garbage bags, extra strength carpet odor eliminator and duct tape, the complaint stated.

Police have recovered the Chevy truck, as well as shovels with small droplets of a red substance on them.

Ryan is being held at the Broward County Jail. He is charged with kidnapping. The hearing determined that Ryan will be held in pretrial detention until the case can go before a federal grand jury.

The search for Cavett continues.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the FBI’s Miami office at 1-800-CALL-FBI or to submit a tip via FBI.GOV/TIPS. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to her location.

(Kerry Weston, Local 10 futures planner-assignment desk editor, contributed to this report.)


About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.