Cassie went missing on Sunday, March 27, 2022. She was on her way to pick up her 4 year old daughter Saylor and never made it home. She went to meet her daughter’s father, Marcus Spanevelo, in the parking lot of Juana’s Pagodas restaurant in Navarre. Their usual exchange place, dictated by the court, is at the Walmart in Destin, about an hour away. Sources close to her tell us that in the past few weeks, Marcus had been playing the “good guy” and suggesting a closer to Cassie’s residence exchange location. Juana’s is said to be a mile away from her residence. This would have been a more convenient option for Cassie and having visited Juana’s myself, I can attest that it is a very busy public place with plenty of people around.
Her father texted her a couple hours later and received a strange message from Cassie’s phone stating that she was having car trouble and would be staying with Marcus for the night. As neither Cassie nor Saylor were heard from for the rest of the night or next day, her sister Reann Carli sent Marcus pleading with him to let her know where Cassie is. He first claimed to have dropped her off at a friend’s house and keeping Saylor with him and then changes his story to say he dropped Cassie off “in the middle of nowhere in Destin”. Destin is a small island that is heavily populated with stores and hotels. There is always a landmark around to distinguish where you are.
Her daughter was found by police on Wednesday of that week. It was reported that Saylor was taken into Protective Custody Friday. Marcus was arrested on Friday night on multiple charges, one being Destruction of Evidence.
Cassie’s disappearance resonated in the Domestic Violence community upon hearing that she had a previous Injunction against Marcus and had been in a contentious custody battle. Once we saw her docket here at Florida Protective Parents, we knew how dangerous Marcus was. We knew that the intricacies of the court docket would be largely overlooked so we’re coming forward with our analysis to help better educate the public on the signs that might not be so obvious. Cassie’s case is like many others that we see here at Florida Protective Parents Association. It only takes one person to create a high conflict custody case. These are dangerous individuals that should not have unsupervised access to children.
HIGH CONFLICT CUSTODY BATTLES
A high conflict custody battle is largely defined by attorneys as cases where parents make co-parenting impossible, where there are filings in the court alleging abuse, and where the parents cannot come to an amicable agreement on the custody/time sharing for their children. It is like becoming a high risk patient. And just as a general medicine doctor might be unable to treat you, many family law attorneys cannot begin to be able to help many protective parents in high conflict cases.
We define protective or the healthy parent as the parent who just wants peace and refrains from adding chaos to the children involved. Cassie Carli was a protective parent. Unable to get just any Family Law Attorney to help you in your case, causes the protective parent to try and seek out a specialist. The issue is that specialists require money. Even a normal Family Law attorney can be very expensive. There is no directory with the kickass attorneys who are fighting for the safety of children and are unafraid of abusers. The costs of a legal battle can be exorbitant. The financial, mental, and emotional costs can be extensive.
TIMELINE OF CASSIE’S CUSTODY BATTLE
On Halloween day of 2018, Cassie filed for a domestic violence injunction. The contents of that injunction have been redacted for the public view. It is unknown what the contents were, but it was determined sufficient to grant her a temporary injunction until a hearing date of November 9, 2018. Many domestic violence injunctions are denied because of insufficient cause of imminent danger or fear for one’s life. If Cassie was able to get one granted temporarily, there was sufficient cause for it. Saylor was three months old.
A week later it was dismissed upon the fact that there wasn’t sufficient evidence for a continuance of the injunction. When you go to hearing on an injunction, you must provide evidence to show that you have continued fear for your life from this person. It is important to note that Cassie’s daughter Saylor was included in the temporary protective order.
On March 8th of 2019, Marcus filed a domestic violence injunction against Cassie’s mother. Unknown what is accurate in his filing, we cannot comment on the validity or truth of his statements. He did mention that Cassie’s mother “screamed saying that I had a gun…” It is very common for abusers to try and isolate their victims from their family and friends. In Marcus’ filing, he states that at this time he was staying some nights with Cassie at her home. He felt the need to let the court know that “I’ve had access to my daughter as much as I would like, even though my daughter lives with her mother. And we have yet to come up with a parenting plan.” Narcissistic personalities tend to feel the compulsion to prove to everyone that they are model citizens and great fathers/mothers. Adding this sentence into a domestic violence injunction has no merit in proving you are in fear of your life. This attempt for an injunction was swiftly denied that same day.
Two months later on May 7, 2019, 4 Days before Cassie’s 35th Birthday, Marcus called DCF to report Cassie for child abuse. Saylor was about 9 months old. This report was later submitted as evidence in their final trial to show Marcus’ false allegations against Cassie.
Some of his allegations are “Mother has a medical marijuana card. In addition to using marijuana, mother also drinks excessively.” He claimed that Saylor had a “significant bruise on her forehead” and did not believe Cassie when she said Saylor got the bruise while crawling. Because it seems very unbelievable that a child gets a bruise while crawling. Eye roll. In DCF reports, the Narrative portion is simply what is being alleged. His DCF call comes at a very opportune time as he then files for full custody of Saylor on May 24, 2019, only two and a half weeks after this incident.
A smear campaign is an often used tactic of abusers right before they file for custody or divorce. They want to set up a “history” of the other parent’s character. Many of these people will research the different methods to hurt the other parent.
The May 24th filing is a Petition for Paternity Determination and other Relief. Marcus’ filing states “Shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the minor child in this case. The mother has substance abuse problems as she abuses prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and consumes alcohol to excess daily. In addition, the Mother has psychological problems that effect her ability to properly care for the minor child on a daily basis. The Mother has made false allegations of domestic violence against the Father and the Mother routinely prevents the Father from seeing the minor child for no reason…”
He then goes to plead with the court to award him sole parental responsibility and majority timesharing. He further asks the court to create a safety focused timesharing plan with supervised visits imposed on the mother. He states almost verbatim what he said to DCF weeks prior. I would like to make something very clear here, it is extremely difficult as a victim of domestic violence to find an attorney to file for full custody and many will advise you to find a way to settle out of court. But many attorneys do not mind making allegations of substance abuse issues or psychological issues without asking their client to provide evidence to that fact. Whether he was a master manipulator of his attorney, or the attorney simply trusted him because of a large caseload or whatever reason, it is not uncommon to see defamation of character all over the dockets across the United States. Perjury or falsely accusing someone’s character is not treated as a big deal in Family Courts.
When you get these motions/filings/petitions as a protective parent, you are in disbelief that someone can write atrocities about you in public records and that there is little you can do about it. You are then forced to have the burden of proof to prove that you are not all those things. It is so common that many attorneys will tell you not to worry about it. But as we know with first impressions, filings like this set the stage. It becomes very costly to undo the image portrayed of you and it muddies the waters. It always lays a seed of doubt in everyone’s minds as to who the abuser is. It can lead to victim blaming and debate on an otherwise black and white matter.
Saylor is ten months old at this time. It is believed based on the court documents, that at this time there was a Department of Revenue filing asking for child support from Marcus.
On May 29, 2019, Cassie was served with the court documents. The clock begins to tick once you receive those papers. You have 20 days to respond normally in the state of Florida on a paternity or divorce petition. I remember thinking about my own case, how in the world I was going to be able to find an attorney, condense the years and months of nightmare that I went through, and file an appropriate response in 20 days. As a parent, a million thoughts go through your head when you are not versed in the court system. Can they take my child from me? Will people believe his crazy? Will my child be kept safe?
Standard procedure for these cases allows a 45-day period in which mandatory disclosures (financial documents to be produced). Due to the belief that Marcus had a pending case with the DOR for child support, I believe was on a mission to get Cassie’s financial information quickly. A Notice of Production of Documents was sent to Cassie’s job and a second one to Cassie. We can see very quickly, these are not the filings of a desperate father trying to get his child safety out of harm of a mother who has “...psychological problems that properly care for the minor child on a daily basis.” These immediate filings can be seen as a race to avoid paying child support it seems.
Paying child support to many of us is known as a way to provide for your child. To many narcissists, it is a loss of control and power that they wield over the other parent. To not be able to withhold financial support for the child whenever they’d like without recourse, to them is an ultimate betrayal of their own selfish tenets. For many abusers, money is an ultimate motivator. It might be the sole reason they ask for full custody of a child they do not want, to simply have their victim pay them a monthly support to the child. Many of them do not understand that healthy parents are happy to support their children.
On June 18, 2019, Cassie retained an attorney and they filed a Counter Petition. In the counterpetition, it asserts that Marcus is the father. This piece is important, many attorneys might ask you if you are completely sure that the other party is the father. If there is any doubt in the court’s mind, it can prolong a case and be cause for DNA tests. There is a burden of proof to overcome that is very much on the father to do so. The fact that Cassie openly admits to Marcus being the father and the rest of her mild counter petition goes to the fact that Cassie wanted peace. Her counterpetition is a far cry from his aggressive petition, not citing his previous abuse. You may ask, Why would you not disclose abuse during a custody battle? Many attorneys refuse to disclose abuse in their filings during a custody case, because it makes the case much more difficult to litigate.
The culture of victim blaming in our society reverberates through the court system. Many parents who do disclose substantiated abuse of their own party are told that if it didn’t happen to the child, it doesn’t matter. The Florida Statute on the best interests of a child that the judges need to take into account does not outline abuse of either parent. It only outlines abuse to the child or abuse that the child witnessed. Even if there is abuse to the child, it would have to be extreme neglect or physical and be well documented over and over. We know that if that were the case, you could very well be asked “Why didn’t you protect your child?” So many parents who have spent so much time protecting their children from the other parent’s abuse are left with their hands tied.
When abuse is disclosed, it is often flipped on its axis and the healthy parent is accused of “parental alienation”. This is a term coined by Dr. Richard Gardner with links to pedophilia and is a favorite weapon in the court system by abusers to cover up their abuse. They will state that the healthy parent is coaching and fabricating lies to isolate the child from one parent. This junk science is not recognized by the American Psychological Association and further confuses the courts and professionals involved.
The petition does state that “…the parties be awarded Shared Parental Responsibility with the Respondent/Mother having ultimate decision-making authority concerning the minor child’s education, healthcare, extracurricular activities and day-to-day needs.”
“It is the best interest that the Court establish a timeshare schedule awarding the Respondent/Mother the majority of the timeshare with the minor child.”
She at this time also files her financial affidavit and an objection to production from a non-party. Cassie’s Financial affidavit is complete with expenses detailing every credit card she had, household expenses, and her income. There is nothing strange or unusual in her financial affidavit. This is what normal people do. They file on time and tell the truth and do not ask for exorbitant things from the court.
On June 19, 2019, Cassie’s attorney filed for a Request for Production of Documents. Marcus, not to be beat, has his attorney file an Amended Request for Production of Documents two hours later. In many high conflict cases, you will see one side consistently filing or trying to one up the other side.
That very day, the truth comes out as Marcus files an Objection to a Hearing that was taking place on a different docket of child support initiated by the Department of Revenue. This would delay Marcus from being held responsible for child support and change the venue to the docket he was suing her on as the petitioner, if granted. This would delay any financial support for their shared daughter. This is a bid for control of the arena. The courtroom is now his platform and mode of chaos to throw at Cassie. We do not see any documents filed granting his request.
On June 27, 2019, Marcus’ attorney filed an Answer to Counter Petition. This is standard procedure to a petition. There is a Counter Petition and then an Answer to the Counter Petition. The Answer was very short simply admitting or denying paragraphs of her counter petition. What does stand out to me is this excerpt from it:
“The remainder of the Mother’s Counter Petition is a prayer for relief and does not require an answer.”
That is exactly what every motion or filing submitted on behalf of a protective parent is. A prayer for relief. What he is not wrong about is that, in the court system, it does not require an answer. Court cases can go from many months to years and you are just waiting for someone to look at all your evidence and answer your prayers for relief.
Two days before the hearing of child support in a separate docket on July 8, 2019, the Father filed his financial affidavit. His mortgage or rent is claimed to be $250. He pays $257.91 for a phone bill. He claims to spend $292.98 on the child’s medical/dental/prescriptions monthly. The child was on Medicaid according to both the parties’ filings. What was he paying out of pocket monthly for?
Below are some of the assets and liabilities listed:
Assets: Chevy Silverado 2500 that he valued at $50,000
2018 Tailwind Trailer that he valued at $7,000
Liabilities: Loans for both truck and trailer ($70,292), credit cards (10,145), and two personal loans to Eduardo Fabricio ($1,800) and Dustin Wenninger ($1,300)
He had interests and was the CEO of 3D VISUAL SOLUTIONS LLC which was never listed on his financial affidavit. According to the Sunbiz report, this company was filed with the State of Florida in March of 2017.
Hiding assets and financials is a tool in financial abuse of the court system and the other parent. It is fraud on the court. While normal people just tell the truth, abusers will go to any lengths to appear unfortunate in the eyes of the court. Whether that be filing losses on a multi-million dollar company or working only cash jobs to hide income, financial abuse spans all tax brackets. If you can’t afford to pay for daycare for the child, you can’t get a job. It can quickly become a vicious cycle of poverty for the parent who was staying home with the young child initially and holding primary custody.
Attempting to prove that the other parent is hiding their financials can require hiring a forensic accountant, a PI, or digging through trash for some people. It is not feasible or practical or safe for many people. When you’re juggling a court case, the constant verbal and emotional abuse of the other parent, and trying to raise your child, you just do not have the capacity or room to breathe to try and prove the financial aspect of it. What we see in many cases is the abuser distracts from the financial aspect, by causing chaos for the children. This is especially true in divorce cases.
On July 10, 2019 on the docket with the Department of Revenue involved, Marcus was ordered to pay $843.49 in child support per month with a retroactive amount of $168.70 per month until the retroactive obligation of $5,522.42 is paid. This amount came out to $1,012.19 monthly. This was a huge loss for Marcus.
On July 22, 2019, Cassie submitted all documents related to Marcus’ Request for Production.
More than a month later, September 4, 2019, Cassie’s attorney filed a Motion to Compel on Marcus to request for Production. He was still attempting to hide bank statements and loan documents. Their trial was approximately in three weeks.
On September 20, 2019 at 9 am, a hearing was held on the Father’s request for temporary relief. At this hearing, the exhibits filed by Marcus’ attorney were documents titled “exhibit composite”, “Family Law Case History”, “Photos”, and “Signed Order”. Exhibits filed by Cassie’s attorney were titled “Photos”, ”Shared Parenting Plan”, “Addendum to Shared Parenting”, and “Confidential Investigative Summary”.
Surprise, surprise, the first piece of evidence Marcus’ counsel submitted was the court documents and orders of child support (18 pages). The second piece exhibit submitted was titled “Family Law Case History” which seems to be a printout from a payment system with the court for child support. It shows two payments made a week before this hearing on September 19, 2019, totaling $2,024.38. At that time his previous balance was $5,185.02. This might have been an attempt to show Marcus’ compliance with the court.
The photos he submitted to the court is a selfie of Cassie and him at the hospital with their newborn. And one of him feeding Saylor a bottle. Pictures like these are normally used by the abusers to pull at the heartstrings of the court. Look at me being a great parent! I was there for the birth, please pat me on the back. Again, Cassie did not accuse Marcus in any filings of being an absent father or of any abuse. This showmanship of appearances is to defend a case that doesn’t exist.
One of the things we will see in this case is Marcus submitting documents to the court that incriminate him. “Signed Order” is the dismissal of the injunction Cassie had in 2018. This was used to attack Cassie and claim she made false allegations against him. It can be reduced from the many court hearings that I have watched that this one piece of paper is probably also to aid his assertion of Cassie’s “mental issues”. Using mental illness as an excuse as to why a victim is alleging abuse is used in and out of the courts. Gaslighting is prominent in many coercive abusive relationships. Gaslighting is described as manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Making you feel crazy and lying about events that happened is a play made deliberately to discredit you. In the court system, narcissists can try to rewrite events to better fit their image.
These exhibits help paint the picture that Marcus was extremely focused on his personal image. There are no exhibits provided to prove clear and substantial evidence to his claims of Cassie being abusive, mentally unwell, and a drug addict.
Cassie’s exhibits on the other hand, aim to put a solid conclusion to the ordeal. The photos she shared were of both her and Marcus’ respective homes. As you’ll see in these photos, Marcus’ home is devoid of any personal effects of Saylor, any crib or sleeping area for the child, or even a playpen for a child that age. This man is asking for full custody of a child that he does not have a place for her to sleep or play in. Cassie’s home, on the other hand, is filled with Saylor’s life. Her toys, her crib, a baby pool on the porch for her to swim and play in. She, by no means, lives in a luxury home outfitted with all the latest and greatest gadgets and toys. If Marcus claimed to make similar income to Cassie, why wasn’t he providing a safe and loving environment for the child?
Cassie’s subsequent exhibits, “Shared Parenting Plan” and “Addendum to Shared Parenting Plan '' show that Cassie asked for majority timesharing, final decision making, and the use of Talking Parents App to communicate. Many parents who are fearful of the other parent and their verbal abuse ask the court to instill a court ordered communication App. These Apps like Talking Parents or Our Family Wizard allow court professionals real time access to communications between parents. They allow for parents to have different threads of messages on different subjects. They promote healthy communication with accountability. All the messages used in these apps are able to be submitted to the court and downloaded whenever.
The Addendum asked for Marcus’ timesharing to commence “Upon the Father having adequate housing and living conditions for the child…” This was never adopted by the court. It was also asked that their exchange be at the Walmart in Destin, this was not adopted by the court at this time but was later adopted. The court reserves a lot of power in these cases and many times they seem to tiptoe around the best interests of the children to cater to the parent’s “rights”. That term is interesting because we do see cases where the parental rights are completely obliterated by court professionals or ignored without regard to the Florida Parental Bill of Rights.
Also submitted was the "Confidential Investigative Summary" from DCF, in which shows the false allegation Marcus fabricated against Cassie.
Somewhere between that September 20th hearing and October 2, 2019, Marcus’ counsel submitted a proposed Parenting Plan to the judge. This was adopted into a temporary shared parenting order on October 2, 2019. This order awarded shared parental responsibility, designated that communication between parents be by e-mail and text message, and a specific weekend schedule that Marcus would have timesharing with Saylor every other weekend and for Wednesdays afterschool until 8pm. It is unknown at this time if Marcus ever exercised his Wednesday timesharing.
Parental Responsibility and Timesharing in Florida are the way to classify custody as a whole. Parental Responsibility is the ability for parents to make decisions for the children concerning their schooling, health, and large decisions that differ from day to day. Timesharing is the amount of time each parent gets with the child and allows for the parent to make small day to day decisions like what the child is having for breakfast. A decision like what treatment your child should have, if God forbid, they had a disease falls into the realm of Parental Responsibility.
What is interesting about his parenting plan proposal is that it vastly deviated from his original filings. His campaign to get full custody seemed to be over at this time. With the win of the court adopting HIS parenting plan, there was silence on the docket.
On January 7, 2020, His attorney withdrew from the case. From this point until today, Marcus is Pro Se. Pro Se litigants means that they are advocating for themselves and act in the capacity as their own attorneys. This makes abusive litigants more of a loose cannon in court. Attorneys help shield the crazy and many times will not submit filings that are inane and could embarrass them in the legal community. These attorneys need to continue working with the same judges and the same attorneys, they try to attempt to keep a semblance of propriety.
On July 13, 2020, Cassie’s attorney also withdraws. This is probably due to the inactivity of the case. The order was entered on August 25, 2020 granting this.
A year goes by and in July of 2021, the Court files a NOTICE OF LACK OF PROSECUTION, MOTION TO DISMISS AND NOTICE OF HEARING. Upon not having any activity in the docket or movement from either party in more than 10 months, the court enters to close the pending case.
During that year and a half, Marcus was just being a good guy doing the right thing. Are you kidding? Haha, no. He was terrorizing Cassie. Some of his threatening messages are going to be cited below. These come from the docket later on in the case where he himself attaches them to pleadings. This is where the timeline becomes a little disorganized like his mind.
Starting October 25, 2019, there was discussion back and forth where Cassie attempts to make arrangements with him to switch weekends and to work together. In this exchange, you can see Marcus making ridiculous demands before stating on November 5, 2019:
“I’m not taking any time in exchange for anything. If you can't handle her you make it clear that is the reason why you want me to take care of her.”
This statement is a statement that can be seen in dozens of other court cases. This abusive parent is not interested in seeing or having their child unless it is on their terms and they are able to gain leverage from it. I will only take her if you put it in writing that you cannot care for her. That is him building a case against her, to make her look like an unfit mother.
Starting March 14, 2020, Marcus sends a message to Cassie through Talking Parents. “Do you get off on pissing me off? How many times I’m going to have to tell you,....”
“How many times I got to tell you to leave me alone and stop the harassment?”
“Are you delusional or something? (rhetorical)...”
I want to stop here and explain something. This anger seems to be placed because Cassie gave him advance notice that she would be keeping Saylor at home quarantined due to the COVID 19 pandemic that we all experienced. During this time, many of us parents were scrambling to understand what to do with our timesharing exchanges. Not to mention that the rate of Domestic Violence in homes went up greatly. During this conversation, she offered to give Marcus makeup timesharing once there was more information on her daughter’s safety.
He responded with a text that included “I guess I’ll be coming to in town just to file a motion for civil contempt against you.” Not the greatest grammar, not the greatest grammar.
This whole text stream gets worse when on March 30, 2020, he sends her a message starting “I think you you are literally retarded…”
Holding court over someone’s head like a threat is legal abuse. It is a way to use the court system to threaten and intimidate the other parent. Many abusers threaten to file a motion for every “offense” that they feel is a blow to their control. When they do file these motions, they are also usually templated with a request for the healthy parent to be punished. Many times they ask for jail time, I have even seen a request for stockades to be used in a different case. They seek to control and abuse the other parent, even when not in reach. The abuse of the court system is systemic in nature and oppressive to victims of domestic violence. The emotional duress and damage one incurs many times is sustained for a lifetime.
At the time that the court files to close their case essentially, Marcus is in another docket causing some trouble. Marcus files to contest the action of his license being suspended for non-payment of child support on June 25, 2021. A week later, he finds out the court wants to close his Paternity Case. Oh no, it couldn’t be possible! Marcus is losing and there will be some finality on his legal abuse. Not if he has something to say about it. Which of course, is a lot.
Cassie’s Emergency pickup order on July 13 that he held Saylor and did not disclose her information to Cassie and had no contact with Cassie and that Marcus was supposed to return Saylor on July 11, 2021.
On July 12, 2021, Marcus filed 6 Motions.
Motion to Dismiss – He asks the court to dismiss their own hearing because he states he wasn’t given enough notice. He never wants this case to close, he needs to continue utilizing the courts to terrorize Cassie.
Motion for Psychological Evaluation – He asks the Court for a psych eval on Cassie, no evidence attached or substantial allegations.
Motion for Temporary Custody – He asks for full custody – No exhibits attached. He makes allegations that DCF picked up Saylor from Cassie and gave her to him.
Motion for Cease and Desist – He asks that Cassie not say his name ever again.
Motion for Case Transfer – He asks the case be moved to Santa Rosa County.
Motion to Request Daycare Attendance - This just says “Respondent intentionally keep minor child from daycare, so daycare won’t notice and report the bruises on minor child.”
Motions like these are the signs of someone becoming unhinged. That their need for power and control is becoming so blatant. His mask is completely off as he filed these and subsequent motions.
On, July 15, 2021, Cassie retains her attorney again.
On July 21, 2021, Subpoenas for DCF employees went out from Cassie’s attorney.
On July 22, 2021, Marcus takes Saylor out of Florida to see a therapist to try and find some way to twist her recommendations to use in his filings. He did not let Cassie know he was taking her.
On July 29, 2021, Marcus filed 7 motions for Civil Contempt. At this point, it can be inferred that he was probably feeling high off this plan of his. Many abusers state that they want to “expose” and humiliate the other parent. In these subsequent filings is where we see the abusive and hostile messages he sent Cassie.
1. (6 Pages) Violating Parenting Plan, He asks to be awarded full custody, attaches text messages from 3/6/2020
2. (3 Pages) Not exchanging the child for Father’s Day, Text messages from 6/16/2021
3. (1 Page) Not providing change of Address
4. (6 Pages) Not providing itinerary for trip on 10/31/2019, text messages from 10/25/19
5. (6 Pages) Not exchanging the daughter for Halloween weekend, text messages from 10/25/19
6. (1 Page) Not providing change of Address
7. (1 Page) Changing the Child’s Daycare
Why would he provide text messages that seem to be aggressive and angry on his part? Abusers have blinders to their abuse. They might not see anything wrong with what they are doing. They might believe that there is a good ol’ boys club that will welcome and congratulate their treatment of the other parent. Whatever the case might be, he was not the sharpest spoon in the drawer.
Not to let up steam, Marcus filed on August 3, 2021 a Motion for Mental and Eye Care – Alleging that Cassie is neglecting and physically abusing the child. Attached is the therapist report that he took the child to OUT OF state and did not notify the mother of on July 22, 2022. Text messages from 8/2/2021 of her trying to work with him on medical care. Marcus has a history of premeditating his actions to coincide with the legal battle or other forms of abuse on Cassie.
On August 4, 2021, Cassie’s attorney filed a 31 page motion of contempt against Marcus. He refused to give the child back to the mother on the exchange day, he took the child to a mental health professional without notifying her, and does not allow the child to communicate with her on his timesharing. He had kept Saylor for two weeks without Cassie knowing where she was.
This is beyond traumatizing for both mother and child. I feel sick just thinking about it.
On August 19, 2021, the court issued a Notice of Hearing and set it for October 1, 2021.
On August 20, 2021, the court submitted an Order Denying Change of Venue, citing that the mother and child lived closer to the Okaloosa court.
Marcus is nothing if not persistent in his pursuit to avoid child support. On September 3, 2021, he filed a Motion to Reinstate his Passport in the Child Support Docket. Marcus has dual Brazilian-U.S citizenship. Below are some quotes from this motion:
“Respondent has never shown any desire to flee this country”
“Respondent has family overseas and is not able to visit because of this restriction”
“Restriction on respondent’s passport does not prevent travel to another country as the respondent is a dual citizen with the United States of America and Brazil, therefore possessing a passport for another country. Instead the restriction stops the respondent from returning to the United States of America.”
“Respondent needs dental treatment, and Respondent’s dentist is overseas”
“Restriction on respondent’s American passport is a violation of human rights”
Wow Marcus, I’m sure the dentist can wait. Trips to Brazil can be very costly and ticket expenses can go from hundreds to thousands of dollars. So he can afford trips to Brazil but not to pay child support?
That same day, Marcus filed a Motion to Dismiss all his child support payments.
Here's a gem: "The current child support order was unconstitutional." Eye roll.
Around those months, Cassie created a Go Fund Me;
“Like so many relationships I know, I was swept up in hidden deceit known as charm. 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. Just months into the relationship, I discovered that I was pregnant.”
Many people ask how you get stuck with an abuser. It’s not a choice. This person uses lies, manipulation, and coercive control to keep you in a prison of a relationship. You become bound to this person through trauma and even pity sometimes. They analyze you and use every “weak” point to their advantage.
“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. By the grace of God and great friends, I chose to end the relationship with him.”
This is on par with narcissists. They cannot stand anyone taking the attention from them, so many of them act out during pregnancies. They are jealous of the new baby, of you getting attention, of being put second. This can unravel them.
“He filed dozens of false police reports. He call CPS so many times, I nearly came to know most of the staff by name.”
We see again and again Marcus’ need to paint Cassie in a negative light.
“ To date, he owes me over 10K in support. A few weeks ago, due to child support delinquency, the state was set to suspend his driver’s license. Just days after that notice, he called CPS to report yet another false claim. He was allowed to pick up my daughter that day for his regularly scheduled weekend visit.”
Marcus was never planning on supporting Saylor or doing the right thing.
“For over two weeks, I had no contact with my daughter or knowledge of her whereabouts. I called everyone I knew. I sought help from local police and every government agency I knew. No one could or would help me.”
On October 7, 2021, a hearing was scheduled to hear all of Marcus’ motions and Cassie’s Motion for Contempt.
On October 7, 2021, the court filed an Order to Deny Psychological Evaluation. They stated:
“The Father failed to provide competent substantial evidence as to any basis for the Respondent/Mother to undergo a psychological evaluation”.
On October 25, 2021, the Court entered an Order on the Hearing. All of Marcus’ motions were denied.
Cassie’s Contempt was partially granted. It is not illegal in the state of Florida for one party to seek mental health treatment without the explicit consent of the other parent. Her other pleadings for contempt were granted.
This order put into effect that Walmart in Destin would be the official exchange spot. Marcus was ordered to pay attorney's fees.
On January 14, 2022, Cassie's attorney filed an Affidavit for Attorney’s fees and costs. Marcus’ control is slipping.
On March 7, 2022, the court held the Hearing on Attorney Fees.
On March 18, 2022, the court entered an Order on Marcus paying $5,920 in attorney fees within 30 days time. Marcus for the first time since this case started, has a set date that will hold him accountable for his actions.
On March 27, 2022, Cassie went Missing.
Today is April 3, 2022. As I was finishing this article, it was announced that Cassie’s body was found in a shallow grave in an Alabama home connected to Marcus at 3pm. We owe it to Cassie to come forward and educate the courts on the warning signs on these dangerous people. We owe it to her to bring Marcus and other abusers like him to justice. To hold them accountable the first time.