FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The self-proclaimed witch doctor who was arrested in connection with a missing Alabama mother has been charged with kidnapping, as federal authorities revealed disturbing new evidence in the case.
7News cameras captured Shannon Ryan making his way back to Broward County Jail on Monday after he appeared in federal court. He declined to comment on the case.
Ryan was arrested by the FBI on Saturday after he claimed he was the last person to see 21-year-old Leila Cavett.
Ryan was initially facing two counts of lying to a law enforcement officer. He has now been charged with one count of kidnapping, accused of taking and then abandoning Cavett’s son.
In an hour-long video posted to Facebook on Aug. 9, Ryan shared his account of how he knew the missing mother.
“We have a missing woman, and I gave the police everything that I know, everything,” he said.
Ryan claimed he met Cavett to buy her truck on July 25, and while he was with her at a RaceTrac gas station in Hollywood, she left abruptly.
“It’s some guys in a car that she’s talking to. Leila got her and her son and got in the car with those guys,” he said.
The next morning, Cavett’s 2-year-old son was found wandering alone in a Miramar parking lot. His mother was nowhere to be found.
Ryan has not been shy about posting his whereabouts on social media, like the Southland Shopping Center in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night.
“Search my whereabouts, look at who I talked to. I mean, you’re gonna find out you wasted your [expletive] time,” said Ryan.
However, a clerk who did not want to be identified said she almost called the police after encountering him.
“He started yelling and cursing and calling us all kind of names,” she said. “When he came with us to be with us, that’s when I said, ‘You know? I’m over it.'”
According to the FBI, their investigation revealed several disturbing details.
For example, surveillance video from the RaceTrac station “did now show Ryan’s car at the pumps where he described it, nor did it show Leila Cavett leaving in a dark sedan.”
The criminal complaint further states, “A vehicle consistent with Ryan’s gold Lexus is seen directly in front of the apartment complex where the child was recovered, only minutes before the child was found. Ryan’s Lexus is very distinguishable because it is missing the front bumper.”
The criminal complaint states that employees at the RaceTrac station recalled seeing toys in their dumpster, as well as clothing that Cavett had worn.
The FBI said Ryan used a friend’s debit card at the Walmart next to the RaceTrac to buy Hefty trash bags, duct tape and extra strength carpet odor remover.
Law enforcement said Ryan was the last person with keys to Cavett’s truck, and when they searched the vehicle, they found shovels with small droplets of a red substance on them.
They also said that a Google search on Ryan’s phone showed: “What day does commercial garbage pickup for Hollywood, Florida,” and “Does bleach and alcohol make chloroform.”
The new details have left the clerk who came into contact with Ryan unsettled.
“Knowing somebody like that was so close and within range of me, just very shocked and surprised,” she said.
Ryan appeared before a judge just before noon on Monday.
He will remain behind bars until his detention hearing on Friday.
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