PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Navarre’s Cassie Carli, who was found dead in a shallow grave in Alabama in April, was honored Wednesday by her friends and family.

Carli would have celebrated her 38th birthday Wednesday. Her friends said they would’ve been out celebrating together. Instead, a mural was painted by Joesph Seurkamp at Graffiti Bridge in Pensacola, dedicated to bringing awareness about domestic violence and Carli’s death. 

“She was a good woman. She was an excellent woman,” said Amy Wilbert, one of Carli’s friends. “We were proud of her. She overcame so much in her life.”

The mural was painted in light purple and reads, “If something happens to me, it’s him,” a statement her friends said Carli made before she died. “Him” is referring to her ex-boyfriend Marcus Spanevelo.

Spanevelo has not been charged with murder in the case, but the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has identified him as a suspect in her disappearance and death.

Carli went missing March 27 after trying to pick up her daughter Saylor from Spanevelo. 

Spanevelo was arrested on charges relating to her disappearance, including tampering with evidence, destroying evidence and providing false information to law enforcement. Spanevelo has filed a written plea of not guilty and demanded a jury trial.

Carli’s friends and family say they are making it their mission to keep the Navarre mother’s name alive while they wait for justice.  “We want to make sure everybody keeps hearing Cassie’s name and keeps talking about Cassie until justice is served,” said Carli’s friend Kirsty Sullivan.

Carli’s friend Sam Graves, among others, have helped start the Cassie Carli Foundation in her honor and are pushing toward helping pass Cassie’s Law. Both the foundation and prospective law are aimed at helping victims of domestic violence. 

“Cassie’s Law will say that in an event that a parent goes missing during a child custody exchange, the non-missing parent is prohibited from physical custody of the joint children until the missing parent is located safe and the non-missing person is cleared through law enforcement,” said Sam Graves, founder of the Cassie Carli Foundation.

The foundation will provide support to domestic violence victims, Graves said. It is in the early stages, but Graves hopes to be able to start accepting donations soon.

“Not only providing protection and education and simple resources for domestic violence victims, but we would also like to provide them with legal assistance and housing,” Graves said.

While law enforcement waits on autopsy results, Carli’s friends and family are remaining patient with the hope justice is served.

“I know they have put together a solid case, and I have no doubt in my mind that as soon as the autopsy results are released that Marcus Spanevelo will be charged with murder,” Graves said. “I know that (Carli’s) light is still shining and really is providing the energy to keep all of us going forward.” 

Autopsy results are still pending. Spanevelo’s next court date is set for Aug. 4.