A Cayce police officer approaches a vehicle at a road block near an entrance to the Churchill Heights neighborhood Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Cayce, S.C., (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)
UPDATED 3:47 PM PT — Saturday, February 15, 2020
The tragic discovery of a missing girl’s body left South Carolina authorities with more questions than answers.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we are announcing that we have found the body that the coroner has identified as Faye Marie Swetlik.” stated Director of Public Safety Byron Snelgrove.
A single piece of evidence lead South Carolina authorities to the grim discovery of a young girl’s remains, as well as a local man’s body who is now considered a suspect in her murder.
This undated photo provided by the Cayce Department of Public Safety shows Faye Marie Swetlik, Feb. 10, 2020. (Cayce Department of Public Safety via AP)
Cayce Police found the body of 6-year-old Faye in a wooded area Thursday near her family’s home.
The victim’s mother reported her missing Monday afternoon. Faye was last being seen playing in her front yard shortly after returning home from her elementary school.
“I checked all the houses in my neighborhood, and anybody that’s actually answered,” stated mother Celina Collins, “They’re out looking for her too.”
Efforts to locate Faye picked up when investigators found a piece of evidence in the trash can of Faye’s neighbor, 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor. He was later found deceased in his home, though authorities have not yet revealed his cause of death. Taylor was also previously questioned by Cayce officials in the days leading up to his death.
However, police have revealed he was not known to the victim or a relative.
While speaking Friday, Sgt. Evan Antley was visibly emotional as he discussed details of Faye’s missing persons case, what is now being investigated as a homicide.
“Again, this has been a tragic situation for our community, for our department and for everyone who has been following the story of Faye Marie Swetlik,” stated Antley. “We want to thank the community for their tips, without them, we may not be where we are.”
At this time, officials are keeping details of both deaths classified until the results of both autopsies in the coming days.