It has been big a week in the search for missing mother Leila Cavett, 21. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released surveillance footage and put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to her location. This development arrives mere days after a man was charged with lying to investigators and kidnapping Cavett’s 2-year-old son.
“The FBI is actively seeking information relating to the whereabouts of Leila Cavett,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, in a statement provided to Law&Crime. “We are still relentlessly investigating the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, may be important to finding Leila. We thank those who have already provided information and urge other members of our community to come forward.”
The FBI put out a series of six videos and images. Here’s how they describe the four videos shown in order.
- “Leila’s Chevrolet pickup truck traveling from North side of RaceTrac gas station (5800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33021) to West side of gas station on the afternoon of July 25th at approximately 2:20 p.m.”
- “Leila exiting a four door Lexus sedan on the north side of RaceTrac gas station (5800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33021) on the afternoon of July 25th at approximately 3:06 p.m.”
- “Leila inside the convenience store of the RaceTrac gas station (5800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33021) on the afternoon of July 25th at approximately 3:09 p.m.”
- “Leila inside the Race Track convenience store (5800 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33021) on July 25th at approximately 10:16 p.m. These are the last known images of Leila Cavett.”
They also released pictures of her pickup truck and the Lexus. No further information was available.
“If anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of Leila Cavett, please call FBI Miami at 1-800-CALL-FBI or go to FBI.GOV/TIPS,” the FBI said. The investigation is ongoing with the Miramar Police Department and Hollywood Police Department.
Cavett, a Georgia resident with family in that state and in Alabama, disappeared last month after driving down to Florida with her 2-year-old son. Authorities have said she last went missing on July 26, though in the new press statement FBI says it happened (“on or about July 25th, 2020.”).
Her son was found wandering an apartment complex parking lot in Miramar, Florida, and her white Chevy Silverado pickup truck was found shortly after in the neighboring city of Hollywood.
Cavett’s family said they have no idea why she might have gone to the Sunshine State.
In entered self-titled “witchcraft” teacher Shannon Demar Ryan, 38. He released a video on Facebook claiming Cavett sold him her truck for $3,000. They hung out, but she took her son into another vehicle with several men, according to his account. She never returned, he said. All told, he denied wrongdoing. (Ryan’s first name is spelled “Shannon” in federal records and “Shanon” in state records.)
But authorities announced this weekend that Ryan had been arrested for allegedly lying to federal officers. He ended up getting charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for allegedly kidnapping Cavett’s two-year-old son.
Officials said they found him during their search for the missing woman. They tracked her truck to a Walmart parking lot in Hollywood; surveillance cameras caught Ryan approaching the vehicle with keys in his hand — according to criminal records obtained by Law&Crime.
Investigators said Ryan was interviewed. In their account, he claimed to know Cavett since January of 2019 and that she sold him her truck for $3,000.
From the complaint [Cavett and her son were named in documents by their initials]:
According to Ryan, L.C. arrived in her vehicle at the RaceTrac gas station located at 5800 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood at approximately 2:30 PM on July 25, 2020. Ryan told law enforcement that he went to Ft. Lauderdale beach with L.C and her son that afternoon in his 2004 Gold Lexus ES 330, while leaving her truck behind. Ryan told officers that when the three returned to the RaceTrac gas station they parked at the pumps. Ryan further advised law enforcement that at approximately 2:30 AM on July 26, 2020, L.C. and her child left in a dark sedan with several unknown black males. Ryan advised that was the last time he ever saw L.C.
But surveillance footage at the RaceTrac did not show Cavett leaving in a dark sedan and did not show Ryan’s car at the pumps, authorities said. Video, however, did show a vehicle “consistent” with Ryan’s Gold Lexus in front of the apartment complex where the boy was found, just minutes before the discovery of the child, they said. Cell phone data also allegedly linked Ryan’s phone with a cell tower in the area of where the child was abandoned.
From the complaint:
On August 9, 2020, Ryan posted a publicly accessible video on his Facebook social media account discussing his relationship with L.C., in which he made a statement about covering
a window on L.C.’s vehicle with a garbage bag because the window was broken and damaged. Law enforcement reviewed video surveillance footage of L.C.’s initial arrival and was able to
determine that all the windows of her truck were intact at that time. Additionally, the rear view mirror of the truck appeared to be mounted and intact. A federal search warrant was subsequently sought and executed on L.C.’s truck. Law enforcement searched the truck and observed that the driver’s side window was broken and the driver’s side visor was bent out of its ordinary position.
Officials claimed they found shovels featuring “small drop lets of a red substance on them” in the vehicle.
According to authorities, a friend of Ryan’s told law enforcement tried to sell him a white GMC pickup for about $1,000 on July 26.
“J.M. [the friend] advised officers that Ryan told him that a girl from Georgia drove it to Florida,” authorities wrote.
A search warrant on Ryan’s Lexus allegedly turned up a half-empty container with bleach, black trash bags, and a “white powdery substance under the front passenger seat.” Another search warrant which produced the defendant’s iPhone turned up Google searches including, “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform.”
Ryan’s attorney of record did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment. The defendant remains at the Broward County Jail with no bond as of Thursday afternoon.
You can read the criminal complaint here:
[Image of Cavett via FBI Miami]
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