The man, Shannon Demar Ryan, might have also been the last person to see the young mother, 21-year-old Leila Cavett, who disappeared in South Florida, NBC Miami reports. According to a criminal complaint, 38-year-old Ryan, also a self-described chakra master, was arrested on Saturday on two counts of lying to a federal officer.
Authorities began searching for Cavett on July 26, when her two-year-old son Kamdyn was discovered barefoot in an apartment complex parking lot. The FBI said that surveillance at a Cracker Barrel placed her in Florida on July 24. The next day, July 25, she was seen in the Fort Lauderdale Beach and Las Olas areas during the day, and then a RaceTrac gas station in Hollywood at night.
The complaint says that her white GMC pickup truck was parked in a Walmart parking lot in the area on July 27. When authorities surveilled the vehicle, they saw Ryan approach the truck with keys in hand on July 28.
He told officers that he’d known Cavett since January 2019 and that she came to Florida to sell him her truck for $3,000. He said he met Cavett at the RaceTrac gas station on July 25, and she and her son went with Ryan to the Fort Lauderdale Beach in his Lexus.
He claimed that when they returned to the gas station, Cavett and her son left in a dark sedan with several men around 2:30 a.m. on July 26. He said it was the last time he saw her. However, surveillance footage doesn’t corroborate Ryan’s story, and cameras from the area where Kamdyn was found reveal that a vehicle similar to Ryan’s Lexus was in front of the apartment complex.
“Additionally, the surveillance video from the Racetrac gas station shows Ryan’s car leaving the gas station at approximately 8:15 a.m. that morning, and returning at approximately 8:38 a.m., which is consistent with the time frame in which the child was abandoned and recovered,” the complaint said.
Other details led authorities to suspect Ryan, including his cell phone using a tower in the area where Kamdyn was abandoned at the time he was abandoned, and Ryan using Cavett’s debit card at the RaceTrac and Walmart to purchase 39-gallon garbage bags, carpet odor eliminator, and extra strength duct tape.
In a Facebook video posted on Aug. 9, Ryan alleged that he was using the garbage bags to cover a window in Cavett’s truck—and when officers searched the truck, they found that the driver’s side window had been broken.
Investigators also discovered a used container of all-purpose bleach, black trash bags, and a white powdery substance in Ryan’s Lexus. Then, on Ryan’s phone, they found Google searches for, “What day does commercial garbage pickup for Hollywood, Florida” and “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform.”
A friend of Ryan’s later told authorities that Ryan tried to sell him a white GMC pickup truck on July 26 for $1,000.
In the aforementioned Facebook video, Ryan also reportedly discussed how he met Cavett outside his home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He claimed that she showed up in the middle of the night with her then-one-year-old son after her car broke down. She needed somewhere to stay and ended up living with Ryan for two months. He said he taught Cavett witchcraft before she left.