THE ex-boyfriend of a mother found dead in a shallow grave days after vanishing attempted to track her phone and plant recording devices in her home months before her shocking death, her sister claims.
The body of 37-year-old Cassie Carli was discovered in a “shallow grave” inside a barn in Springville, Alabama on Saturday night, around 300 miles away from where she was last seen alive in Navarre Beach, Florida, on March 27.
Before her disappearance, Cassie had gone to meet her ex-boyfriend, Marcus Spanevelo – the father of her four-year-old daughter – for a child exchange in the parking lot of a restaurant.
She was reported missing by concerned family members the next day after she failed to return home with her daughter, Saylor, and wasn’t answering her phone.
Spanevelo, 34, was then taken into custody on Saturday morning in Lebanon, Tennesse, and charged with evidence tampering, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation, and destruction of evidence.
Hours after his arrest, police discovered Cassie’s body inside a barn on a property that Spanevelo had ties to.
Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Cassie’s body remained intact and showed no obvious signs of trauma.
An autopsy was scheduled to take place on Monday to determine a cause of death, though no findings have been released to the public as yet. Spanevelo is expected to face additional charges once the autopsy results are returned.
CASSIE ‘FRIGHTENED’ OF EX
In an interview with The US Sun, Cassie’s younger sister, Raeanne Carli, said that in the months proceeding her sibling’s death, she told her she was “frightened” of Spanevelo, and on one occasion allegedly told her “if something should happen to me, it was him.”
“We knew something was wrong right away, something with Marcus” Raeanne said. “I had a feeling he may have done something because my sister would never just disappear like that and not talk to anyone.”
On the night of Cassie’s disappearance, her father, Andrew Carli, texted his daughter, writing: “I’m freaking out case [sic] call me as soon as you get this message.”
A response from his daughter’s number followed soon after, which read: “I’m sorry, car was acting up and I broke my phone. Marcus is working on it. I will stay at his place tonight.”
Neither Raeanne nor her father believes that Cassie sent that message.
“If she was having troubles she would never seek help from him, that’s just crazy,” Raeanne said of Spanevelo. “She would walk next door to the restaurant before she asked him for anything.”
‘TOO MANY RED FLAGS’
Cassie and Spanevelo met in 2018 and had only been dating for around two months when Cassie fell pregnant.
While still in the early stages of their relationship, Raeanne said her sister was determined to make things work with Spanevelo, but around five months into her pregnancy, she couldn’t bear to be with him any longer.
“There were just too many red flags,” Raeanne claimed. “She would tell us, ‘he’s controlling me; he’s trying to manipulate me; I don’t want to be with him.’
“But even after she broke up with him, she was hopeful that maybe they could figure out a way to co-parent together and stay civilized.”
Any hopes of civility Cassie had were quickly extinguished, according to Raeanne, who alleges that Spanevelo became increasingly volatile and “emotionally abusive” towards her sister.
The bereaved sibling alleges that after Cassie gave birth to Saylor, Spanevelo attempted to plant recording devices in her apartment, tracked her phone, and tried to monitor her movements and to who she was speaking.
“I think he thought that if he could hear her doing anything she may not supposed to be doing in then he’d try to use it against her and try to make false reports to [Child Protective Services] to get Saylor taken away from her.”
‘EXTREME EMOTIONAL ABUSE’
Cassie and Spanevelo were for years locked in a bitter custody dispute over their daughter. In August last year, Raeanne launched a GoFundMe page to help Cassie with her mounting legal fees.
A post on the fundraiser, written by Cassie, referred to Spanevelo as a “master manipulator”, an abuser, and a narcissist.
“During my pregnancy, this man’s abusive control and manipulation escalated. But having battled infertility in my first marriage, I desperately wanted a family. So, I justified his erratic behavior as long as I could,” she wrote.
After breaking up with Spanevelo, Cassie wrote that he “filed dozens of false police reports” and called child protective services “so many times, I nearly came to know most of the staff by name.”
Elaborating on her slain sister’s claims, Raeanne alleged that Spanevelo was both verbally and emotionally abusive to Cassie throughout her pregnancy and after Saylor’s birth.
“The verbal abuse was particularly bad,” Raeanne said. “He would body shame her when she was pregnant, and just everything she did wasn’t right or good enough for him.
“He called her stupid, said she didn’t know anything, that she was going to be the worst mother ever – just anything to put her down and make her feel inferior to him.
“The emotional abuse was just extreme. So extreme,” she further alleged.
Just nine days before her death, a judge ordered Spanevelo to pay Cassie $5,920 in attorney fees associated with their years-long custody dispute.
In the weeks and months preceding her tragic death, Raeanne claims her sister grew increasingly frightened of Spanevelo, fearful his apparent emotional abuse may escalate to physical harm.
While Raeanne says Spanevelo “never laid a hand on Cassie” prior to her death, her purported fear he could harm her stemmed from the way he would say things to her, and the look in his eyes when he said it.
“It may have been something small, but it was the way he would say things to her and the way he looked at her that would freak her out,” Raeanne said.
“He was just eerie … he was never physical with her or put his hands on her, but he knew she feared him and I think he used that against her.
“[Whenever they’d meet to hand over Saylor] she would be on alert because he was a rollercoaster, just up and down and unpredictable.
“She would tell me, ‘he’s got this look in his eye and it’s just frightening.’”
Raeanne believes Spanevelo may have been “infatuated” with her sister and her death may have been the result of “one of those, ‘if I can’t have you, then nobody can’ type of things”, she alleged.
At the time of her death, Raeanne said her sister was happy and in a good place, having just landed a new job at a local military base.
Raeanne claims that Spanevelo attempted to win back Cassie several times since their break-up but her sibling was not interested in revisiting a romantic relationship with him.
“My sister was finally in the best place before her passing and she got that job, which she really enjoyed,” Raeanne said, before speculating: “And it could be that he thought, ‘Wow, she’s never ever going to want me or let me have my way so I’ve got to do something about it.'”
Last Tuesday, three days after Cassie was last seen alive, her car and purse were found on a “boat overflow ramp” close to the restaurant in Navarre Beach where she had been scheduled to meet up with Spanevelo.
Spanevelo was then taken into custody on Saturday morning in Lebanon, Tennesse, and charged with evidence tampering, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation, and destruction of evidence. Saylor was found safe and is now in the process of being transferred back home with Carli’s family.
In filing the charges, police claim he took Carli’s phone and “basically got rid of it”, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said during a news conference.
The grisly discovery of Cassie’s remains was made just hours after Spanevelo’s arrest. How police were led to the barn where her body was found remains unclear.
Cassie’s identity was confirmed by a tattoo, investigators said.
Sherriff Johnson added that investigators have obtained evidence that forms a “great case” against Spanevelo, pointing to him being the culprit behind Cassie’s death.
Johnson further described Spanevelo as being “totally uncooperative” throughout their search for Cassie, which in total covered more than 1,500 miles.
“He was totally uncooperative. He never cooperated at all with us,” said Johnson during a press conference on Sunday. “It’s your baby’s mother and she’s missing, and you’re not going to cooperate with authorities. That’s kind of telltale.”
‘DIRTBAG SHOULD BE EXECUTED’
Johnson also branded Spanevelo a “dirtbag” and voiced his hope that the 34-year-old receives the death penalty at trial.
“I think we have a great case and I think he’s either going to spend the rest of his life in jail or get the needle – hopefully, the needle,” Johnson added.
Johnson has not yet been charged in relation to Cassie’s death, though that’s expected to change once an autopsy on her remains is completed.
It’s not immediately clear where he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. The US Sun has reached out to police for more information but has not yet heard back.
Raeanne said her family “erupted” into tears when they were informed by police that Cassie’s body had been found, though took relief in the fact they’d finally be able to bring her home.
Like Sheriff Johnson, Raeanne says she hopes Spanevelo “gets the needle” should he be charged and found guilty of Cassie’s murder.
“I want him to get the needle too, but honestly I would want him to sit in jail for at least 37 years – as long as my sister lived – and then get the needle.
“I want him to sit in jail and see my sister’s face every time he tries to sleep, and to think about his daughter and know what he did every day and let it eat him alive.”
Raeanne will remember her sister as a loving, kind, and loveable sister, who possessed an infectious laugh and a captivating smile, she told The US Sun.
“She saw the good in everyone and always wanted to believe that everyone had the same intentions as her and she would give anything to help someone,” Raeanne reflected.
“She loved helping people. That was her thing. She was just the kindest person, and I swear she light up the room every time with that big ol’ smile and laugh of hers.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5056548/cassie-carli-murder-update-boyfriend-tracked-recordings-stalker/ Cassie Carli’s ex Marcus Spanevelo ‘tracked her phone & tried to plant recording devices in her home’ before shock death