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Florida missing mom Cassie Carli’s cell phone has not been found; woman warned family about ex, sister says

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NAVARRE BEACH, Fla. – The family of missing Florida woman Cassie Carli said they still don’t know the whereabouts of the young mother’s cell phone, as the concerned loved ones said there were “red flags” about her daughter’s father.

Raeann Carli, 32, said she does not believe her older sister sent the final text messages that came from the phone. When asked on Friday whether the police had located Carli’s cell phone, Raeann said no.

“She wanted to remind us, ‘[If] something happened to me, it’s him.’”

— Cassie Carli’s sister, Raeann Carli

“We still are trying to locate Cassie’s cell phone. Her purse was found inside of the vehicle, but we still cannot locate the cell phone,” she responded. “The most important thing we’re looking for is her phone. We do know that was not in there.” 

MISSING FLORIDA MOM CASSIE CARLI FELT ‘EXTREMELY’ UNSAFE AROUND CHILD’S FATHER BEFORE DISAPPEARANCE: SISTER

Carli, 37, was last seen on Sunday evening, while meeting her daughter’s father in the parking lot of a beachside restaurant, Juana’s Pagoda, not far from her home in Navarre. Investigators later recovered her vehicle, with her purse inside, and confirmed the couple’s 4-year-old daughter is safe. But Carli remains missing, and loved ones, community members and police are still desperately searching. 

The younger Carli – who previously told Fox News Digital that Cassie felt “extremely” unsafe around her daughter’s father, Marcus Spanevelo – further explained on Friday that her sister had previously warned them about the man. 

“Just in general, with her relationship with him, it has always been, she has had some fear of him. He’s always controlling, and tried to be manipulative, and she had some fear of him in the past. And what he’s capable of, or planning maliciously towards her.”

She added: “We always had a red flag on him. Always. And her, as well. She wanted to remind us, ‘[If] something happened to me, it’s him.’”

SEARCH FOR MISSING FLORIDA MOM CASSIE CARLI EXPANDS OUT OF STATE AS LAST PERSON TO SEE HER FOUND IN ALABAMA

Raeann said Cassie always kept close contact with their father, whom she lived with, and the rest of the family, and was “never one to just disappear.” But on Sunday evening, she told her dad she was running out to pick up her four-year-old daughter, Saylor, from the child’s father’s custody and never returned, Carli said during a phone call with Fox News Digital on Thursday. 

Raeann previously said Cassie usually tried to meet Spanevelo at public locations – typically a Walmart parking lot – but that he had recently been changing the meet-up spots.

Before she left for Juana’s on Sunday, she poked her head into her father’s bedroom at the home they share. 

“When it came time to pick Saylor up, my dad was in his room about to rest and she just kind of popped in, ‘Hey, dad, I’ll be right back. I’m just running to grab Saylor,’” Raeann said.  “She walked out the door like she would be right back.”

Cassie’s father then went to sleep, but awoke hours later to discover his daughter had not yet returned. 

“Cassie,I’m trying to call you.What’s going on?” he wrote, in a series of text messages provided to Fox News Digital. His first message was sent at 9:40 p.m. Sunday. He then sent a second message that stated: “I’m freaking out case call me as soon as you get this message.” 

A response came shortly thereafter, and stated: “I’m sorry, car was acting up, and I broke my phone. Marcus is working on it. I will stay at his place tonight. He is paying me some money to do some stuff around his house.” 

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family
(Photos courtesy Carli family)

A later message from Cassie’s phone stated, “Let me see if he can get this fixed and I’ll call you.”

FLORIDA MOM CASSIE CARLI MISSING SINCE SUNDAY; SEARCH INTENSIFIES AS DAUGHTER, 4, FOUND SAFE

Cassie’s father then went to sleep for the night. After hearing nothing from his daughter the next morning, he contacted Spanevelo, and then the sheriff’s office. 

The family is now doubting that those messages even came from Cassie, with Raeann explaining that the messages are “not how Cassie would talk or speak.”

“We totally do not believe that was Cassie responding in those messages,” Carli said. “She would never, ever take up any offers from him like that – to stay with him or help him or anything, first of all, without telling us or considering with us. So, that’s not like her at all.” 

Cassie Carli and her young daughter, Saylor, in this undated photo provided by the family

Cassie Carli and her young daughter, Saylor, in this undated photo provided by the family
(Photos courtesy Carli family)

On Thursday, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said investigators located Spanevelo more than four hours and over 260 miles away in Birmingham, Alabama, where they questioned him and were able to check in on the couple’s daughter. 

Johnson said the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office’s entire Major Crimes Unit, which consists of at least 10 detectives, is working the case. He said investigators believe Spanevelo was “the last one to see her that we’re aware of.”

“We are intent on speaking with him again,” Johnson said. He would not discuss Spanevelo’s recollection of events. 

Spanevelo has not been charged with a crime, nor has he been named a suspect or a person of interest. He did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request seeking comment and information. 

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family
(Photos courtesy Carli family)

The search has now expanded outside the state of Florida and to include the FBI. 

Johnson would not divulge specific search areas and said investigators now have Carli’s vehicle in their custody. 

“When we look at this, we consider her missing endangered. We don’t know what happened to her…we just know that the way she has gone missing concerns us greatly,” Johnson said. “We don’t have enough evidence to determine if she’s alive or if she’s deceased.”

Sgt. Rich Aloy, a spokesperson for the department, said the investigation was still “extremely active.” He would not answer questions on Friday regarding Spanevelo, including how police tracked him to Birmingham and whether he has been cooperative. 

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family

Cassie Carli seen in this undated photo provided by the family
(Photos courtesy Carli family)

He also would not say whether the second interview had happened yet, and would not speak about witnesses, surveillance footage or tips the department has received. 

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He would not speak about the whereabouts of Carli’s cell phone. 

“The cell phone,” he said, “is a piece of evidence we’re just not ready to discuss at this time. But that may come out shortly.”

As for the ongoing search for Carli, Aloy asked that anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 850-437-STOP.



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Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence awarded to Julie Otsuka, Ed Yong

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Novelist Julie Otsuka has strong memories of libraries from her childhood California — the bike rides with her best friend to the local branch; the soft, firm sound of librarians closing books; the shopping bags she and her friend would fill with science fiction and other stories.

“It seemed like I lived at the library,” she says. “I felt very free to explore there, and explore away from adult eyes.”

The library community also has warm feelings about Otsuka. Her novel “The Swimmers,” in which a group of swimmers collectively narrate their daily routines and what happens when those routines are disrupted, has won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, a $5,000 honor presented by the American Library Association. Ed Yong’s “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us” won the nonfiction medal, which also comes with a $5,000 cash prize.

CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION ANNOUNCES 20 MEDAL WINNERS

“Julie Otsuka proves herself a master of narrative voice, thrillingly balancing the incredible vitality of community life with the myriad challenges faced by individuals and families within that community,” Stephen Sposato, chair of the medals’ selection committee, said in a statement released Sunday.

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 
(MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP via Getty Images)

“And, standing out even during a recent golden age of nature writing, Ed Yong dazzles with a deeply considered exploration of the many modes of sensory perception that life has evolved to navigate the world, written with exhilarating freshness.”

COLSON WHITEHEAD NOVEL A CARNEGIE MEDAL FINALIST

Otsuka, 60, has also written the novels “The Buddha in the Attic,” winner of the PEN/Faulkner award in 2011; and “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Her other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The 41-year-old Yong, a native of Malaysia who emigrated to the United Kingdom in his teens, is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for his reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Like Otsuka, Yong was influenced early by libraries. “Strangely enough for indoor spaces, libraries for me were gateways to the natural world,” he told The Associated Press. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time reading books that expanded my knowledge — and love — of nature, and I can only hope that ‘An Immense World’ does the same for people today.”

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The Carnegie Medals were established in 2012, with help from a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Previous winners include James McBride, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Matthew Desmond.



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