NAVARRE, Fla. — Nearly one week after a Florida mother was reported missing, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office said they found remains that match the woman's description hundreds of miles away in Alabama.
While executing a search warrant Saturday evening, the sheriff's office discovered the body of whom they believe is Cassie Carli in a shallow grave inside of a barn in Springville, Alabama, the St. Clair County Coroner tells 10 Tampa Bay. The remains were further identified as Carli by a tattoo, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said.
"It's not the ending that we wanted, obviously, but we're hoping to provide a little closure for the family," Johnson said in a Sunday news conference.
Carli, who was 37 years old, was reported missing on March 28 after she went to meet her child's father the night before to exchange their daughter and never returned home, authorities say.
Carli's ex-boyfriend, and father of their 4-year-old child, Marcus Spanevelo, was arrested Saturday after law enforcement executed a traffic stop in Lebanon, Tennessee, the sheriff said. He is being held in jail in Maury County, Tennessee, on charges of tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation and destruction of evidence. More charges are pending, the sheriff said.
When authorities made contact with Spanevelo on April 2, they learned that he took Carli's cellphone and disposed of it, but authorities were able to recover the cellphone. Law enforcement officials also said Spanevelo had a connection to the barn where Carli's body was found, however, they were not able to explain further. Her remains have been sent to a forensics lab in Huntsville, Alabama, for an official autopsy.
From the beginning, Spanevelo was described as uncooperative and Johnson even said he was "acting like a dirtbag" during Sunday's news conference.
"He never cooperated at all with us," Johnson said. "That goes a long way. You think about it, it's your baby's mother and she's missing and you're not gonna cooperate with authorities, that's kinda telltale."
Prior to his arrest, Santa Rosa County Sheriff's detectives made a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to interview Spanevelo on March 30. Johnson said they also found he and Carli's daughter, Saylor, at home with him. Authorities said he was in Birmingham, Alabama, for a work site.
Authorities believe Spanevelo acted alone in this case. Once they found Carli's remains, Johnson said Spanevelo had nothing to say but, "lawyer." A spokesperson for the state attorney's office said Spanevelo's extradition from Tennessee is pending. They'll know more about when he will return to Florida at a later date.
Carli's daughter, Saylor, has been checked out by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services and is safe with family, Johnson said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FBI, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tennesse Highway Patrol, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Alabama investigation division, St. Clair County Sheriff's Office in Alabama, Springville Police Department in Alabama, Walton County Sheriff's Office, Bay County Sheriff's Office, and Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office all helped in the investigation.