He calls himself a ‘witch.’ Feds are calling him a kidnapper in the missing mother case

·5 min read

An Alabama man who claims to be a witch, a god and the last person to see missing mother Leila Cavett alive now has been charged in federal court with kidnapping.

Shannon Ryan, 38, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, had his first appearance in Fort Lauderdale federal court Monday.

Ryan had already been in Broward County Main Jail on two counts of lying to a federal officer. From the look of the criminal complaint, kidnapping might not be the last charge he faces.

The criminal complaint against Ryan

According to the criminal complaint, police spoke to Ryan as he walked up to Cavett’s GMC pickup truck in the parking lot of a Hollywood Walmart on July 28. He told police the last he saw of Cavett, she and her 2-year-old son, Kamdyn, left the adjacent RaceTrac gas station in a car with several Black men he didn’t know on July 26.

The FBI said Thursday the last record they have of Jasper, Alabama, resident Cavett alive is the security camera video from July 25 at the RaceTrac station. Kamdyn was found the next day walking around Miramar’s Willowbrook Apartments complex, launching the investigation into his mother’s disappearance.

But the complaint says when the FBI reviewed surveillance video, they saw no car of Black males such as Ryan described. It says they did see something else when checking video from around the apartment complex: Ryan’s gold 2004 Lexus, just minutes before Kamdyn was found.

“Ryan’s Lexus is very distinguishable because it is missing the front bumper,” the complaint says.

Also, the RaceTrac surveillance video shows Ryan’s car leaving at 8:15 a.m. July 26 and returning at 8:38 a.m., the time frame in which Kamdyn was found at the Willowbrook Apartments, 1860 SW 68th Ave. Cellphone tracking also showed Ryan’s phone to be in the area of the Willowbrook at that time.

RaceTrac employees remembered seeing toys and women’s clothes in the dumpster around July 26. One employee “recognized a distinct pair of floral pants worn by [Cavett] in a picture shown to them.”

Leila Cavett
Leila Cavett

A check of Walmart video from later that morning, the complaint said, showed Ryan buying Hefty Strong 39 Gallon Extra Large Trash Drawstring Bags, two boxes of Extra Strength Carpet Odor Eliminator and a a roll of Advanced Strength Duct Tape.

The complaint says Ryan’s iPhone revealed July 26 searches for how to make chloroform, which can be used to knock people out, and Hollywood’s garbage pickup schedule.

A friend of Ryan’s said Ryan contacted him on July 26 about buying a GMC truck for $1,000.

Leila Cavett and 2-year-old son, Kamdyn in a Hollywood RaceTrac on July 25.
Leila Cavett and 2-year-old son, Kamdyn in a Hollywood RaceTrac on July 25.

Ryan’s story of Cavett’s disappearance

Ryan’s an incessant poster on Facebook over the pages “Shannon Ryan” and “Magnetic Kundalini,” the latter of which is devoted to “Witchcraft, Knowledge of Self, Kemetic Kundalini & Chakra meditation, Kemetic Science, Health, wellness, fitness, mentorship.”

Among his many posts on Aug. 9 is a 51-minute video on Aug. 9 in which he describes his relationship with Cavett from their first meeting in 2019 through her disappearance.

From one of Ryan’s side rants in the video, some in the North Alabama region in which Jasper and Muscle Shoals sit about 90 minutes apart blame Ryan for Cavett’s disappearance.

A still from Shannon Ryan’s Aug. 9 Facebook video in which he makes several claims about Leila Cavett, the mother of the 2-year-old found in Miramar, last seen at a Hollywood gas station on July 25.
A still from Shannon Ryan’s Aug. 9 Facebook video in which he makes several claims about Leila Cavett, the mother of the 2-year-old found in Miramar, last seen at a Hollywood gas station on July 25.

“I did some burglary,” Ryan said. “I sold drugs when I as younger. I went to prison, too. That’s the dirt I grew up out of that made me the god I am today.

“Individuals love to try to hold you to a past frequency. You mean I can’t change? I can’t be transformed? I can’t renewed? Yeah, but the minute something goes wrong, you say, ‘This is who the (f---) he is.’”

Ryan claims he met Cavett when she showed up at his house on a rainy night in 2019, filthy, pushing a similarly filthy baby carriage with goods, food and Kamdyn. After she told him a story Ryan said he didn’t believe about being abandoned, he said he took her and her son into his home. Despite helping Cavett get a car, Ryan said, she stole from him twice.

“I hexed her,” Ryan said. “Until you return my [stuff], everything you took, everywhere you go, people will try to take your son.”

Ryan said he came down to Hollywood because one of his students was sick. When she got hospitalized with pneumonia, he said he called Cavett to take the student’s place on an unspecified project that would take him into the Keys and the Everglades. He said he called Cavett “because she’s a survivor. I’m going out in the woods, the Everglades.”

Cavett didn’t show up for four days, Ryan said, in a truck she wanted to sell him. He said they met at the RaceTrac at 5800 Hollywood Blvd., and adjacent Walmart. They went to the beach between meals at Pollo Tropical and The Cheesecake Factory.

Cavett, Ryan said, wound up leaving from the RaceTrac with a carload of guys. Ryan says he spent much of the next day or two at the RaceTrac, using the WiFi. When he came back to her truck i the Walmart parking lot, police were there and questioned him.

“I didn’t know she was missing because I don’t watch TV,” Ryan said.

He posted on Facebook Saturday before being arrested, “Anyone who thinks I have something to do with Leila missing can you please comment on this post. I want to demonstrate my powers and make all of you disappear off my timeline all at once. Don’t get scared now.

“This your five minutes of fame. I won’t delete your comments, Witches Honor. Instead, Next full moon I’m practice my first mass Hexing. Put your name in the pot since you so brave and big and bad and I don’t have any real powers. Make me out a lie. May Jesus (Constantine) receive your prayers and the Blood of Christ (Grape Wine) protect you. See they are just words, anyone can say that (stuff).”

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