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Florida Mom Still Missing Nearly A Week After Child Custody Exchange
Cassie Carli was last seen on Sunday after exchanging custody of her 4-year-old daughter, Saylor, with the child's father, Marcus Spanevelo.
Authorities are scrambling to uncover any clues related to the whereabouts of a missing Florida mom who mysteriously vanished after a custody exchange at a beach last weekend.
Cassi Carli, 37, was last seen at Navarre Beach on March 27, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. She’d met with the child’s father, Marcus Spanavelo, to conduct swap custody of their 4-year-old daughter.
“That was the last time that we know of that Cassie was seen,” Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday afternoon.
She was reported missing the next day.
The Florida woman’s 4-year-old daughter Saylor was found safe, authorities confirmed. Carli’s car, as well as her purse, were located by police on March 29.
“What we found concerning was, inside that car, was Cassie’s purse,” Johnson added. “Most women don’t leave their purse behind when they go somewhere. …I’ve been married 32 years and I’ll tell you my wife goes nowhere without her purse."
"So to think that she just left it there and walked off, that’s what concerns us,” he added.
Authorities also haven’t specified whether Spanevelo — who was questioned this week in Alabama — is an official person of interest in his wife’s disappearance.
“It’s an ongoing investigation and he was the last one to see her that we’re aware of so we’re intent on speaking with him again,” Johnson explained.
Johnson also clarified that Carli’s child hadn’t yet been interviewed by detectives, officials said.
Foul play hasn’t been ruled out, but investigators declined to comment on whether they suspect Carli is still alive.
“It doesn’t really matter what I believe, the evidence is what we go on and right now we don’t have enough evidence to determine if she’s alive or if she’s deceased,” Johnson stated.
Authorities were also tight-lipped on the exact scope and area of the search, but confirmed search efforts have now stretched beyond county lines. The FBI also assisting local authorities in the investigation.
“We’re currently in several different phases of this investigation,” Johnson said.
In the days following her puzzling disappearance, the Florida woman’s friends and family have relentlessly canvassed the Navarre Beach-area in search of any clues that could shed light on her whereabouts.
"We will be in this area until the sun goes down,” her friend Sam Porter told WEAR-TV this week.
A candlelit vigil was held on Tuesday for the missing 37-year-old.
“I am very hopeful,” Porter added. “Cassie is a fighter. There are a lot of prayers going up for Cassie right now."
No further information was released by law enforcement regarding the active investigation this week. A spokesperson for the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by Oxygen.com on Friday morning.
Carli is estimated to be five feet and five inches tall and 150 pounds, according to officials.
Anyone with additional information pertaining to Carli’s possible whereabouts are urged to contact the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit at 850-983-1190.