The ex-boyfriend of Cassie Carli, whose body was found in a shallow grave in Alabama, was reportedly ordered to pay nearly $6,000 in attorney fees in the custody battle for their 4-year-old daughter just days before her disappearance.
Marcus Spanevelo, 34, — who was arrested in connection to Carli’s disappearance — had been ordered to pay her $5,920 in attorney fees by a judge nine days before she vanished on March 27, Fox News reported.
The fees related to the couple’s custody battle over their daughter, Saylor, the outlet reported.
Carli’s body was found buried inside a barn in Springville on Saturday, nearly 300 miles north of where she was last seen in Navarre Beach, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson told reporters.
She was identified by a tattoo on her body, police said.
Spanevelo was arrested during a traffic stop in Lebanon, Tennessee, and charged with tampering and destroying evidence and providing false information related to the probe, the sheriff said.
He has ties to the property, the sheriff has said without elaborating on the connection.
Carli’s attorney, Aaron Wentz, said the firm was stunned by the 37-year-old’s death.
“Everybody in the office is pretty upset about it. We’ve been dealing with Cassie for quite some time. Very, very wonderful young lady,” Wentz told the outlet Monday.
“As far as the lengthy court battle that’s been going on, it never got to the point where I felt like something like this would happen, honestly. This was a shock,” he added.
The lawyer said his office did not have any records indicating that Spanevelo had paid Carli any of the ordered amount.
Last summer, the father filed multiple Family Court motions, including for contempt, temporary custody and a request for day care attendance, according to Fox News.
Carli wrote on a GoFundMe account set up by her sister Raeann that she she had met Spanevelo in July 2017 and became pregnant just months later.
“This man was a master at the game of manipulation and though I could see all the warning signs of an abuser, I believed his excuses and became stuck in his web of narcissistic lies,” she reportedly wrote.
“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,” Carli added.
She also said that after she broke off the relationship, her ex “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.”
On Monday, Spanevelo made his first court appearance.
“Not at this moment,” he reportedly told a Tennessee judge when asked if he was willing to waive extradition back to Florida. “There are some things that need to be resolved before I’m willing to go that route.”
An autopsy was completed for Carli Monday, but toxicology results could take months to come back, St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell told Fox News Digital.
Spanevelo was slapped with his current charges for allegedly taking Carli’s cellphone and getting rid of it.
Johnson, the Santa Rosa County sheriff, said he also “lied a couple times in different scenarios.”
He said additional charges are likely as investigators review evidence, Fox News reported.
“Once the autopsy is done and you see the charges filed, you’ll understand, but I think we have a great case,” he told reporters on Sunday. “I think he’s either going to spend the rest of his life in prison, or he’s going to get the needle. Hopefully the needle.”