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Federal charge dropped against man arrested in Leila Cavett case; woman’s body never found

State recommends high bond that could keep Shannon Ryan behind bars while investigation continues

Judge signs order to dismiss federal charges against man suspected in disappearance of missing mom
Judge signs order to dismiss federal charges against man suspected in disappearance of missing mom

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A federal charge has been dropped against Shannon Ryan, who was arrested last year following the disappearance of a young mother in Hollywood. However, a single charge of child neglect with a high bond could keep him behind bars.

Ryan was initially charged with kidnapping after surveillance video showed Ryan’s car directly in front of an apartment complex shortly before the woman’s 2-year-old son, Kamdyn, was found there on the morning of July 26, 2020. Cellphone data also indicated that Ryan was near the apartment complex at that time, authorities said.

Ryan told the FBI he was in the area, examining a nail in his tire.

Ryan appeared in Broward County bond court Thursday and was ordered held in lieu of a $100,000 bond, after the judge said that was what the state was recommending.

The judge agreed that Ryan was a flight risk after prosecutors said he had initially agreed to meet with Miramar police detectives last year after the boy was found in that city, but fled the area before being found in Texas.

Ryan was also ordered to have zero contact with the child, as well as anyone under the age of 18.

The court has deemed him homeless and possibly unlikely to be able to pay the bond. If he posts bail, he must surrender his passport and will be outfitted with a GPS ankle monitor.

Ryan was never charged in the disappearance of Leila Cavett, 21, and her body has never been found.

According to an FBI agent who spoke during a hearing last year, Cavett traveled to Hollywood to become Ryan’s apprentice. Ryan is a self-proclaimed witch.

Ryan, however, told investigators that Cavett had come to Hollywood to sell him her pickup 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.

The last time Cavett was seen alive was last July 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.

The FBI has conducted multiple searches of the landfill where trash from the gas station is dumped, but they did not find Cavett’s body.

The order of dismissal filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida does not state why the federal charge was dropped.

Hector Romero, the public defender in the case, said at a hearing on Thursday that the case against Ryan was purely circumstantial.

Ryan remains in the Broward County Jail.

Anyone with information about Cavett’s disappearance is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or contact them by going to FBI.GOV/TIPS.


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for Local10.com.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.