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FBI joins south Florida search for missing mother with Georgia ties

The agency is helping police in the search for 21-year-old Leila Cavett, whose 2-year-old son was found wandering hundreds of miles from home.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The FBI is helping police in the search for a missing mother with ties to the Atlanta area whose little boy was found wandering alone in Florida, NBC 6 Miami confirmed on Thursday.

The search for 21-year-old Leila Cavett began in late July when her little boy was found hundreds of miles from home wearing nothing but a shirt and a diaper near Miramar, Florida.

Police in the city said Cavett is from Alabama but had been staying in the Atlanta and north Georgia areas recently. At some point, however, police believe she left Georgia heading for south Florida. Just days after her disappearance, police had already said they were "gravely concerned" for her safety.

NBC Miami reports that, on Thursday, her mother and brother worked with their attorney and volunteers putting up flyers at the last place where she was seen before she disappeared - a Walmart parking lot on U.S. 441 and Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Police have since found Cavett's white pickup truck which they had been looking for previously - also in Hollywood. It's one of the most substantial clues they've confirmed yet in the search. 

Credit: Miramar Police Department

But as each day passes, Cavett's family grows more anxious as they plead publicly for information. 

"My grandson needs his mom and I need my child," the missing woman's mother said, adding that this was her worst nightmare."

It took police two days to tentatively identify the boy’s missing mother as the 21-year-old, and identify the boy as two-year-old Kamdyn Cavett Arnold. Cavett’s sisters, who live in Alabama, drove to south Florida to help police.

“We know that Kamdyn’s OK, but we definitely want to make sure that Leila’s OK," Gina Lewis, one of Cavett's sisters, said previously.

Family members said they do not believe the mother would abandon her young son, there or anywhere else.

Miramar Police told 11Alive that with the family's help, they were later able to use the boy's DNA to establish that Cavett is, in fact, his mother; so they know who she is, they just don't know where she is.

Credit: NBC

They're still asking people in metro Atlanta and the Dawson County area for any information they may have about Cavett or where she may now be.

For others who have joined the search for the missing woman, her sisters have offered two important identifying marks. She has a tattoo on the inside of her arm with Kamdyn's name in script lettering. And she has a Christian fish symbol on the top of her wrist.

In the meantime, the family and others hope the added resources provided by the FBI in the search will help them bring Cavett home safely.

Anyone who believes they have information that might help is asked to call 911 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 (TIPS).