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Police Search For Florida Woman Who Disappeared During Child Custody Exchange

Navarre, FL – A search is underway for a Florida woman who went missing while meeting up with her ex for a custody exchange on Sunday evening.

Cassie Carli, 37, was planning to meet up with her four-year-old daughter’s father near Juana’s Grill on Navarre Beach at 7 p.m. on March 27, Carli’s friend, Sam Porter, told WEAR on Tuesday.

Porter said Carli’s father received a text from Carli’s phone about three hours later saying she was having vehicle problems and that her phone battery was low.

No one has heard from her since.

According to Porter, Carli’s ex told Carli’s father that he had dropped her off at Porter’s home, but Porter said that never happened, WEAR reported.

Carli’s family and friends reported her missing on Monday.

Police located Carli’s vehicle on Tuesday, but the search for her continues.

“I am very hopeful. Cassie is a fighter,” Porter told WEAR. “There are a lot of prayers going up for Cassie right now.”

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office (SRSO) issued a “missing/endangered” person alert for Carli on Tuesday afternoon.

SRSO Sergeant Rich Aloy confirmed on Wednesday that investigators have determined Carli’s daughter, Saylor, is safe, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

“We had an indicator that led us to believe the entire time that she wasn’t in danger and that’s the track that we were going on, but we wanted to see for ourselves,” Sgt. Aloy told reporters.

“Investigators physically went out and put eyes on the child to make sure that she was safe,” he added. “We wanted to verify that with eyes on the kid, so that’s what we did.”

Sgt. Aloy described the case as “very active” and said detectives have been combing through evidence to try to ascertain where Carli might be, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

In addition to the search being conducted by law enforcement, Carli’s friends, family, and members of the public have also come out in droves to conduct independent searches.

“There are some folks that have put together some search crews to look around in the area,” Sgt. Aloy said, adding that there are “a lot of emotions” tied up in the case.

“They feel like we do. Like they need to do something for her, and I think that’s how people are showing their concern and emotions by trying to help as much as possible,” he told the Pensacola News Journal.

Carli’s sister, Raeann Carli, said her sister just started a new job as a lead server at Eglin Air Force base the day before she disappeared, NBC News reported.

Raeann said Carli shares 50/50 custody of her daughter and said described Sunday’s planned exchange as a “normal, every other weekend” situation.

“The number one thing I want people to know… is she was in the best mental health and, like, physical health,” Raeann Carli said.

Sgt. Aloy told NBC News that police do not suspect foul play at this time.

“We’re hoping we find her well,” he said.

But Carli’s family has accused her ex of being involved in her disappearance and trying to cover it up with the text about car trouble, according to WFLA.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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