Suspect faces second-degree murder charge in case of missing mother Leila Cavett

Police are charging a 39-year-old suspect with murder in the case of a missing mother.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Shannon Ryan, 39, is now facing a second-degree murder charge in the case of a missing mother, Hollywood police announced Tuesday night.

The announcement comes weeks after a federal kidnapping charge was dropped against Ryan.

Shannon Ryan. (WPLG)

Ryan is also facing a tampering with evidence charge, police said.

He was already behind bars on child neglect charges.

This all stems from the disappearance of 21-year-old Leila Cavett last summer, who Ryan claimed had traveled to South Florida to sell him her pickup truck, authorities said.

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

Cavett’s 2-year-old son, Kamdyn, was found wandering alone in Miramar the morning after she vanished, and Ryan was arrested after authorities said surveillance video showed his car directly in front of the apartment complex shortly before the boy 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 was the last known person to see Cavett alive on July 25.

According to his arrest report, Cavett was last seen on surveillance video entering Ryan’s Lexus at a RaceTrac gas station that night.

Police said the next day Ryan went to a Walmart and purchased carpet deodorant, trash bags and duct tape.

Police said he was then captured the following day, July 27, at the RaceTrac with a bottle of cleaner containing bleach.

According to his arrest report, Ryan moved Cavett’s white pickup truck near the dumpster and went back and forth between the truck and the dumpster, discarding women’s clothing and a child’s toys.

Police said he was also seen dragging a large object wrapped in black garbage bags from the truck to the dumpster.

What appeared to be bloody towels were also placed in a nearby trash can, authorities said.

In addition to the surveillance video, police said a search of Ryan’s cellphone data revealed that he Googled “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform?”

Prior to his initial arrest, he also posted several Facebook videos of himself “describing his relationship and interactions with Leila Cavett,” the arrest report stated. “Ryan called Leila Cavett a manipulative thief who wasted his time and hustled him.”

The FBI has conducted multiple searches of the Monarch Hill landfill at 2700 Wiles Road, but Cavett’s body has never been found.


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About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.