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Investigators search Florida landfill in case of missing mom

Investigation into Leila Cavett's disappearance leads FBI to landfill
Investigation into Leila Cavett's disappearance leads FBI to landfill

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Investigators are searching a South Florida landfill for clues in the disappearance of a woman who has not been seen since her toddler was found wandering alone in an apartment complex parking lot in July, the FBI said.

The federal agency did not provide many details about the Leila Cavett investigation, including how they zeroed in on the Monarch Hill Landfill in Pompano Beach, the South Florida SunSentinel reported. Cavett is from Jasper, Alabama, and had lived in Atlanta before she went missing during a trip to South Florida.

Cavett's mother, Tina Kirby, told the newspaper last month that the FBI informed her that her daughter is dead. Agents needed Kirby's DNA to analyze apparent blood found on shovels they found while investigating the case.

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Shannon Ryan has been arrested and charged with kidnapping Cavett's son and lying to investigators. He has admitted to spending the day with her when she arrived in South Florida, but denies anything to do with her disappearance.

Ryan has been ordered to be kept in custody until his trial. Court documents say he is homeless and has no ties to South Florida, which makes him a flight risk.

Federal prosecutors have said his only asset is a Lexus sedan with a missing front bumper. The car was seen at the apartment complex in Miramar where Cavett's son, Kamdyn, was found wandering.

Surveillance photos show Leila Cavett in Vero Beach, Hollywood, Fla.
Surveillance photos show Leila Cavett in Vero Beach, Hollywood, Fla.

Video surveillance of the gas station where Cavett was last spotted shows Ryan’s Lexus at the station pumps, where he had claimed to be.

Cavett's relatives say she had kept in touch with them over Facebook Messenger, but those messages stopped July 26, the newspaper reported.

That day, Ryan used a debit card to make purchases at the RaceTrac gas station and Walmart, law enforcement officials say.

Surveillance cameras show Ryan buying extra large 39-gallon trash bags and two boxes of extra strength carpet deodorizer that morning. Fifteen minutes later, the cameras show Ryan going back into Walmart and buying a roll of advanced strength duct tape.

Those purchases were made not long after the boy was abandoned, authorities say. A woman who lives at the complex found the child and alerted police. He remains in state custody.

On Aug. 15, investigators searched Ryan’s car and found a half-empty container of all-purpose cleaner with bleach, several black trash bags and a white powdery substance under the front passenger seat.

Ryan’s search history suggests he may have been planning to dispose of human remains, court documents say.