Another Case of a Missing Florida Woman Ends in Death – The Story of Cassie Carli

April 11, 2022 Criminal Defense

Unfortunately, another missing person’s case in Florida has ended in tragedy. Cassie Carli, 37, was last seen on March 27th, 2022, when she was exchanging her 4-year-old daughter with her ex-boyfriend whom she shares custody with—Marcus Spanevelo.

The search for the missing Florida woman lasted only a week, ending with the police finding her remains in a shallow grave in Alabama. The case is still under investigation, however it is still important to go over the events that took place leading up to the authorities finally finding Carli. 

Timeline of Case

The following is a timeline of the events that took place in the case, leading up to police uncovering Carli’s body in Alabama:

  • March 27thCarli was supposed to meet up with ex-boyfriend Spanevelo in the parking lot of the Juana’s Pagodas restaurant on Navarre Beach. The two were meeting to hand off their 4-year-old daughter, Saylor. Officials claim this was the last time that Carli had been seen. Carli’s father started to receive strange text messages from her phone around 9pm, which stated that she was having car troubles and would spend the night with Spanevelo. Carli’s family immediately sensed something was off, and that the texts did not sound like her.
  • March 28thThe following day another text message was sent to Carli’s father around 5:30pm, this time from Spanevelo’s phone. The ex-boyfriend explained that he had dropped Carli off in a remote area to meet up with a friend in Destin, Florida. Spanevelo assured Carli’s father that he had Saylor in his presence, and that Carli’s car was left at Navarre Beach. Carli’s family reported her missing by the end of the day, after the supposed friend she was visiting claimed she never showed up.
  • March 29thPolice believe Carli is in potential danger, and officials deem her a missing person. Later in the day, authorities find Carli’s car with her purse inside the vehicle. Carli’s family and friends organize a search party.
  • March 30thPolice are able to track down Spanevelo and Saylor in Birmingham, Alabama—260 miles away from Navarre Beach where Carli was last seen. Their daughter Saylor is confirmed to be alive and unharmed, and police investigate Spanevelo regarding his ex-girlfriend’s whereabouts.
  • March 31stThe FBI are called onto the case to help local authorities, as well as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson states that Carli had no phone or credit card activity since she had last been seen.
  • April 1stSanta Rosa County Crime Stoppers issue a $3,000 reward for anyone with information that can help find Carli or solve the case. The search for Carli continues, with more and more volunteers joining the search.
  • April 2ndSometime during the night, police uncover Carli’s body buried in a shallow grave in Alabama. The property was said to somehow be related to Spanevelo, and that her remains may or may not have been found in a barn. The exact location is not yet disclosed. Spanevelo was arrested in Tennessee for tampering with evidence regarding the location of Carli’s phone, giving false information pertaining to a missing persons investigation, and destruction of evidence. This is all relating to Carli’s phone, which Spanevelo claimed he did not know of its whereabouts—yet Johnson later confirmed in the press conference that they have now found it.
  • April 3rdSheriff Johnson gives a press conference regarding the case. He addresses the fact that Carli’s body has now been found, and that although it is not the ideal outcome, her family can hopefully feel some semblance of closure. Johnson discloses that Spanevelo was an extremely difficult suspect to deal with, and that police have a “great case” against him. Johnson also says more charges will likely be handed down to Spanevelo once the autopsy is completed and revealed.
  • April 4thThe autopsy of Carli’s body is said to take place. Police know that it is for sure Carli based on a small tattoo on her foot. It is a matching tattoo she shares with her sister. A tweet from a local Florida journalist indicates that Spanevelo is scheduled to make his first appearance in court in Maury County, Tennessee. It is still unclear if he will be extradited back to Florida into Santa Rosa County.

The Suspect and his Arrest

Spanevelo was first arrested and placed in jail in Tennessee. His initial charges include tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation, and destruction of evidence.

According to Johnson’s press conference, Spanevelo allegedly took Carli’s phone and, “basically got rid of it.”

Johnson continued to comment on Spanevelo, specifically on how he had been extremely difficult throughout the entire process. When they first brought him in, the only thing he said at first was, “lawyer.”

“He was totally uncooperative, he never cooperated with us,” Johnson said of Spanevelo. “It’s your baby’s mother and she’s missing and you’re not going to cooperate with authorities…well that’s kind of tell-tale.”

The police believe that Spanevelo acted alone, and that there are no other suspects in question regarding the case. The full post of Spanevelo’s arrest can be found on the Santa Rose County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

Now that Carli’s body has been found, Spanevelo remains the main suspect, as the location of the “shallow grave” is said to have some connection to Spanevelo. Once the autopsy report is revealed, more information will be presented. This also means that Spanevelo will face more severe charges.  

What’s to Come

There were plenty of questions for Sheriff Johnson about the left-out information in the case, as well as what’s to come. Although Carli’s remains have now been found, there are still several questions that need to be answered.

The police could not yet share what the cause of death was—they are awaiting the results from the autopsy report. They are still unable to address what tip was provided to finally find Carli’s body, or to provide more insight on Spanevelo’s charges.

Johnson did confirm that Carli’s daughter, Saylor, is safe and in good hands. She had been checked out by the Department of Children and Families, and they are currently working to reunite her with the rest of Carli’s family back in Florida.

We expect to see more information released about Carli’s case in the coming days or weeks.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you love is in need of legal assistance in a criminal case, make sure you prioritize finding the right attorney for you. Navigating the legal process is extremely stressful, which is why it is imperative to seek the assistance of a skilled Florida criminal defense attorney who will zealously advocate on your behalf. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients all over the state of Florida for all kinds of criminal charges and understand what it takes to provide the best possible defense. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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