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South Carolina Investigators Reveal How 6-Year-Old Faye Swetlik Was Killed


South Carolina officials have revealed what they determined as the cause of 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik’s death. They announced she died from asphyxiation hours after she was abducted. This was declared a homicide. Lexington County coroner Margaret Fisher declined to release more information about Swetlik’s condition, saying this was out of respect for the victim’s grieving family.

Swetlik’s mother reported her missing on Monday, Feb. 10. Faye was last seen playing in the front yard of their home at about 3:45 p.m.

The search ended in tragedy. Investigators announced Thursday that she was found dead, and this was a homicide investigation. They specified Friday that she was located in a wooded area between her home and a NAPA Auto Parts. Coty Scott Taylor, 30, was found dead at his residence, which is located around 150 feet away from Swetlik’s home. Investigators asserted that these deaths were linked, but largely didn’t explain at first. They said an item was found in a trash can at Taylor’s home. The dead adult was described as just a neighbor, not a friend nor a relative. The Lexington County coroner conducted the autopsies on Saturday. Officials postponed revealing details out of respect for Swetlik’s family.

Faye did not die in the wooded area, and her body was not at that location for long when she was discovered, Fisher said Tuesday.

Cayce Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said they got a report of a bleeding man on a patio shortly after Swetlik’s body was found. That individual died. The official said that evidence shows that this person–Taylor–abducted and killed Faye. The suspect moved her body to the wooded area in the early morning of Thursday under the cover of dark, said Snellgrove. Reporters learned after the press conference that Taylor died by suicide.

Investigators interviewed Taylor and searched his home with his permission on Wednesday, as part of their wider search, but authorities said they didn’t see evidence at the time that would lead them to believe that he was involved, according to Snellgrove. The suspect had a roommate, but this person wasn’t at the residence that much at the time of this case, and there’s no evidence that this individual knew what was happening, the director said.

Note: Updated to show that officials revealed how Taylor died. We also added more details from the press conference.

[Image via Lexington County Coroner]

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