Faye Swetlik, the 6-year-old girl from South Carolina who went missing after playing near her home, died from asphyxiation, according to authorities Tuesday.
Authorities said Faye’s body was moved shortly before being found Thursday morning. The results of the autopsy pointed to her death happening hours after she disappeared Feb. 10.
Coroner Margaret Fisher announced in a news conference that no other details about Faye’s body will be forthcoming out of respect to the family.
Neighbor Coty Taylor, the sole perpetrator in Faye’s case, reportedly took his own life, according to Fisher.
In the news conference Tuesday, officials did not mention the 30-year-old neighbor by name, instead referring to him as “the deceased man.”
The day prior to Faye’s body being discovered, officials interviewed Taylor as part of the search, but they did not name him as a suspect.
Byron Snellgrove, the chief of police and fire chief in Cayce, provided more details about the investigation. He also thanked the community for its help.
Snellgrove said more than 300 officers, a SLED helicopter and K9 divisions were involved during the four-day search.
Authorities completed four total perimeter searches of the Churchill Heights neighborhood, which included combing through trash and sledging through pools of water around the area left by recent rainfall.
They also followed 283 tips received from a hotline and reviewed 756 gigabytes of video surveillance footage from 50 locations.
The big break in the case came when police, following garbage trucks in the neighborhood, found Faye’s polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt in Taylor’s trash, Snellgrove said.
He thanked the community for its support of the police.
“I want each of you to know that this was not just an investigation or case for us,” Snellgrove said, talking about how the heartbreaking discovery will be remembered by officials forever.
The town planned to host another vigil in honor of Faye in front of the Cayce City Hall after the news conference Tuesday.
“Faye ‘Faybe’ Marie Swetlik was born June 13, 2013 and passed away on February 10, 2020. Gone too soon but never forgotten. She made everyone believe in all things good again. She left behind a world that loved her. May she forever sparkle.” — Faye’s obituary
Faye’s memorial service was scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce, according to WYFF4. A local funeral home has covered all of the expenses.
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