South Florida police find vehicle of woman whose toddler was found wandering alone

Florida police find vehicle of mother whose toddler was found wandering alone

MIRAMAR, Fla. — Police in South Florida said Wednesday they have found the truck of a missing woman whose 2-year-old son was found wandering Sunday in an apartment complex.

Investigators continue to search for Leila Cavett, 21, an Atlanta resident who is originally from Jasper, Alabama, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Miramar police officers found her white Chevrolet in the area and handed the case off to the Hollywood Police Department, the newspaper reported. Hollywood police launched a missing person investigation on Wednesday.

“Miramar Police received information that Leila Cavett had recently traveled to Florida from Alabama, and that her last known location was possibly in the area of Hollywood Boulevard and U.S. 441,” the Hollywood Police Department said in a statement. “Additionally, Miramar Police located Ms. Cavett’s vehicle in Hollywood’s jurisdiction.”

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Residents discovered the toddler, 2-year-old Kamdyn Cavett Arnold, Sunday morning in the 1860 block of Southwest 68th Avenue. A witness told WPLG that the boy had a dirty diaper and no socks or shoes.

The woman who found him had no idea where he came from.

“I asked him ‘Where’s your mommy?’ and he just kind of pointed kind of everywhere,” Ebony Williams. of Miramar, told the Sun-Sentinel. “I reached out my hand for him, and he grabbed a couple of my fingers and we just started walking around the complex hoping that I would find somebody looking for him or calling his name.”

Cavett’s family said they have no idea why she would be in South Florida, WPLG reported. Her sisters, who arrived in South Florida on Tuesday, told reporters that Cavett had no ties to the area.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Gina Lewis, Cavett’s sister, told reporters Tuesday. “So it’s not like they were taking a vacation out of the blue with the baby. There’s no way.”

Family members released new photographs of Cavett that showed a tattoo with her son’s name on her right alarm, along with the Jesus “Fish” symbol on her right wrist, WPLG reported.

Daniel Lee West, the father of the toddler, told the Miami Herald he last saw his son playing in his mother’s yard.

“I just want Leila and Kamdyn safe,” West told the newspaper. “Leila is a great mom. (She would do anything for our son.”

West said he contacted the Miramar Police Department to claim custody of the boy, but was told he may have to provide proof through a DNA test.

“CPS (the Florida Department of Children and Families) is supposed to tell me what to do,” West told the Herald. “I am coming there as soon as they do.”

West said he met Cavett in Dawsonville, Georgia, two years ago, according to the Herald. At the time, Cavett was in a relationship with Levi Arnold, of Woodstock, Georgia, the newspaper reported.

“We were never together; it was just a hookup,” said West, who lives in Ellijay, Georgia. “Our relationship was about Kamdyn only.”

Lewis, who confirmed that West is the biological father, said Arnold was a father figure to the boy after he was born. Arnold and Cavett eventually split up.

West said he stayed in touch with Cavett and his son and sent payments to her “every two or three weeks,” according to the Herald.

Cavett’s sisters said they also were unsuccessful in gaining custody of the boy, the newspaper reported. Lewis said she and her sibling might have to return to Alabama soon.

“If my sister is watching this, just please reach out to any one of us,” Lewis told reporters. “And if you don’t want to reach out to us, reach out to your friends. Everyone is just so concerned. We just want you home.”

Police in South Florida found the vehicle of Leila Cavett, whose 2-year-old son was found wandering alone at an apartment complex.
Police in South Florida found the vehicle of Leila Cavett, whose 2-year-old son was found wandering alone at an apartment complex. (Miramar Police Department)