US mum found dead a week after disappearing during toddler custody exchange
A woman in the US has been found dead a week after she went missing while exchanging custody of her toddler with her ex-boyfriend.
Police found the body of 37-year-old Cassie Carli in a shallow grave on Saturday night while executing a search warrant on a property in Alabama that reportedly had ties to her child's father, Marcus Spanevelo.
Carli was last seen at a restaurant car park the previous Saturday, March 27, in Navarre Beach, Florida, where she went to meet Spanevelo to exchange custody of their 4-year-old daughter Saylor.
The last her family heard from her was that night, when Carli's father reportedly received strange texts that did not sound like her. She was reported missing the next day.
Police then located her car and purse on Tuesday, March 29.
On Wednesday, authorities spoke to Spanevelo, 34, in Birmingham, Alabama and confirmed Saylor was safe and unharmed.
He was later arrested in Tennessee on Friday, the day before Carli's body was found, in connection with her disappearance.
At a press conference, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson described Spanevelo as being "totally uncooperative" with the investigation, according to Newsweek.
"He never cooperated with us. And that goes a long way," the sheriff said. "It's your baby's mother and she's missing — and you're not going to cooperate with authorities? That's pretty tell-tale."
Authorities were able to identify the remains found at the Alabama property as Carli's body using a tattoo.
They now believe the texts her father received were sent by Spanevelo in an attempt to cover up her disappearance and that he destroyed her phone after sending them.
Spanevelo currently faces charges of tampering with evidence, giving false information concerning a missing persons investigation and destruction of evidence.
"It's not the ending that we wanted obviously, but we're hoping to provide a little closure to the family," Johnson said, adding: "I think we have a great case."