Police said Sunday that authorities in Alabama have found the body of a northwest Florida woman who went missing about a week earlier.
Authorities discovered the body of Navarre resident Cassie Carli in a shallow grave Saturday night and identified her by a tattoo and information provided by her family, according to Sheriff Bob Johnson of Santa Rosa County, Florida. The grave was inside a barn on property where authorities were executing a search warrant.
Citing an ongoing investigation, Johnson would not say what information led authorities to search the property or where the barn is located in Alabama. The sheriff appointed the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office and the Springville Police Department in Alabama as the search aide.
The sheriff also said the property was linked to Carli’s ex-boyfriend Marcus Spanevelo, but declined to say how. Spanevelo had been living and working in the Birmingham area for the past few months, specifically as a contractor for a Springville-area audiovisual company, according to AL.com. The St. Clair County coroner told Florida’s WEAR-TV the property was in Springville.
Carli was last seen at Navarre Beach on March 27 when the 37-year-old met Spanevelo for a planned custody swap of their daughter Saylor. Carli’s father reported his missing daughter to Santa Rosa County authorities the following day, and on March 29, investigators found her car containing some of her belongings in the parking lot where she had met Spanevelo to deliver the child from Four years.
Sheriff’s investigators questioned Spanevelo on March 30 after locating him and the child in Birmingham, after which they announced the girl was safe. Johnson said Sunday that Saylor was unharmed and authorities were moving her into the custody of Carli’s family.
Detectives initially returned to Florida without arresting Spanevelo, but teamed up with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations to watch him before arresting him in a traffic stop Friday night. Alabama court records showed a warrant for Spanevelo’s arrest was issued in March after he failed to show up in St. Clair County court with a speeding ticket on Dec. 15, according to AL.com.
“He was totally uncooperative. He never cooperated with us,” the sheriff said. “And that goes a long way. She’s your baby’s mother, and she’s missing ― and you’re not going to cooperate with the authorities? »
Spanevelo is being held in Tennessee for tampering with evidence, destroying evidence, and providing false information about a missing persons investigation.
Johnson said Sunday the evidence cited in the charges relates to Spanevelo taking Carli’s phone and disposing of it, although authorities are now in possession of the phone. When asked by a reporter at the conference what Spanevelo lied about, Johnson only replied that “he lied several times in different scenarios”.
The sheriff added that he believes Spanevelo acted alone, adding that he has continued to be uncooperative since Carli’s remains were found. It is not known if Spanevelo has a lawyer.
Spanevelo is awaiting extradition to Florida and is expected to face additional charges after an autopsy of Carli’s remains Monday in Huntsville, Alabama.
“She’s been telling me since before I came out,” Carli’s brother, Anthony Carli, said in a Facebook video posted Saturday by his sister Raeann Carli. “She said if anything ever happened to him, she told me it was him.”
Need help? In the United States, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for National Domestic Violence Helpline.