UPDATE: On Saturday, April 2, Marcus Spanevelo was arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations in Lebanon, Tennessee. He is being held on charges of tampering and destruction of evidence and giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation. The arrest was based on a warrant from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes unit. Spanevelo is the father of Cassie’s daughter.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office posted that the case remains active and the search for Cassie Carli continues.
‘Loving you always.’
It’s a phrase that Cassie and Raeann Carli heard their father say all their lives.
“She is the biggest daddy's girl. My goodness, like, the biggest,” Raeann Carli told Dateline.
The sisters were born in Louisiana and moved around a bit before landing in the Florida panhandle for most of their childhoods. Raeann has since moved to North Carolina, but Cassie stayed.
“Cassie is so fun and outgoing and always laughing,” Raeann said. “We just know how to have fun and let loose and if you're around us, especially her, she's always laughing, telling jokes.”
Raeann is five years younger than her 37-year-old sister, Cassie, but told Dateline the age difference didn’t stop them from being close. Growing up, Raeann said, “she had all the coolest, like, ‘90s trends and I always stole her makeup and was the annoying little sister, but we’ve grown so close now.”
Raeann said that their mother was always working, so Cassie became a kind of mother figure in their household. “She always wanted to be a mom,” Raeann told Dateline. “Born maternal, for sure.”
Cassie got her wish and became a mother a couple of years ago, to a baby girl named Saylor. “My God, she loved it,” Raeann said. “It was the only thing she ever wanted to be.” After she spoke with Dateline, Raeann followed up with an email further describing her sister, writing that Cassie is “fiercely loyal to her friends/group of girlfriends. They all grew up in Navarre together, went to high school, & are now still besties with all their kids!”
Cassie had recently been working at a paddleboard shop. “She loved to paddleboard,” Raeann said. “She didn’t think she was gonna stick with it, but she ended up enjoying it.” Raeann said that her older sister loved being outdoors and was always taking her daughter on adventures.
Despite her affinity for paddle boarding, Cassie had just started a new job at Eglin Air Force base. Her first day was Saturday, March 26, 2022.
“She was in the middle of starting a new job on base being a lead server,” Raeann told Dateline that she texted Cassie afterwards to see how it went. “Saturday evening was the last time she texted me, but she said it just went well.”
Raeann told Dateline that Cassie had been back living with their father in Navarre, Florida, because she had been in between jobs and also working on custody issues with Saylor’s father. “She was having to live with my dad until she got back on her feet completely,” Raeann said. “She went to go pick up Saylor because it was his weekend. This is a normal – every other weekend drop-off exchange thing. And they were just meeting right down the road this time.”
Raeann said that right now Cassie shares 50/50 custody of her daughter. She said that Cassie used to live in Destin, Florida and Saylor’s father lives in Panama City. But when Cassie moved further away, back to Navarre, they chose a location to exchange the child, right in the middle: a Walmart in Destin. “She knew to go to, you know, a public, well-lit place -- all that,” Raeann said.
But on Sunday, March 27, 2022, they changed the plan at the last minute, Raeann told Dateline. They decided to meet around 7:00 p.m. at Navarre Beach, about a mile or so from where Cassie had been staying with their father.
Raeann said the area is familiar to their family. “Juana’s – it is a local bar that she – it's always been there. So a big parking lot and people using the boat ramp, usually a nice public place,” Raeann said. “My dad said it was just a very brief, you know, ‘Be right back, Dad. I'm just – just going right to Juana’s.’”
Raeann said their father fell asleep and when he woke up, Cassie and Saylor still weren’t home. “When he woke up at 10:45 p.m., he immediately started calling my sister and no one would answer,” Raeann told Dateline. She said her father then received some text messages from Cassie’s phone stating that she was having phone and car troubles.
Raeann told Dateline that her father called her the next day, on Monday, March 28. “He called me at 4 p.m. on Monday because he said, you know, ‘She’s not back home,’” Raeann said. Their father decided to call the police that evening, almost 24 hours after she left for Juana’s.
Dateline spoke with the Public Information Officer from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Sergeant Richard Aloy. He confirmed that Cassie was “last seen on March 27. It was reported to the Sheriff's Office on the 28th by a family member that she was missing.”
Although Raeann said that the area was familiar to Cassie, Sgt. Aloy told Dateline that “the area that she was in was – was very dark. It was a parking lot.”
The sergeant confirmed that “the child has been safe the entire time.” When asked to comment further about the exchange that evening, he told Dateline that he “can't talk to that just yet.”
Sergeant Aloy confirmed that Cassie’s car was found near Juana’s and is currently in the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office impound yard. And while he declined to discuss specifics of the search efforts for Cassie, “I can tell you that the sheriff's office has searched several locations,” he said, adding that civilians have also joined in the search.
Sergeant Aloy said he was unable to share any information about Cassie’s bank and phone records, but emphasized that it is a very active investigation. “There's a lot of work being done currently and that's where we're just waiting for the results of – of all their hard work,” he said, of the major crimes division. “We’re hoping we find her well.” He noted that officials do not suspect foul play at this time in Cassie’s case.
Raeann told Dateline that Cassie’s friends are leading the search party until she can make it to Florida herself. “The number one thing I want people to know… is she was in the best mental health and, like, physical health,” Raeann said her sister was stronger than ever and felt at peace with her life.
Cassie is 37 years old, 5’5” tall, and weighs 150 lbs. She has shoulder-length blonde hair and blue eyes. Her ears are pierced and she has a tattoo of a tribal mark on her lower back.
Raeann also told Dateline she and Cassie have matching tattoos on their feet. Their father has a big tattoo of a lizard, so to honor him, the sisters got lizard tattoos of their own. “The way mine is shaped, it rolls to the left and hers to the right,” Raeann said. “And when we put our feet side by side the lizards make a heart.” And there’s something special inside each lizard. “My dad, he always says LUA, which is, like, short for ‘loving you always,’” Raeann said. “And my dad wrote L.U.A. inside of them. It's his handwriting on it.”
Loving you always. A phrase Raeann hopes to say soon to her older sister with the matching tattoo.
If you have any information on Cassie’s whereabouts, please call the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office at 850-983-1190.