COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 6-year-old South Carolina girl was killed by asphyxiation not long after disappearing from her front yard, authorities said Tuesday.
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters Tuesday that Faye Marie Swetlik died just a few hours after she was abducted.
“The loss of Faye, an innocent child, who was simply playing in her own yard ... has been extremely difficult to all of us,” Fisher said. She added that out of respect for the girl’s family, she would release no information about the condition of her body.
The girl got off the school bus and was last seen playing in her Cayce front yard on Feb. 10. More than 200 officers searched over three days for her, knocking on every door in her neighborhood and checking every vehicle going in and out.
Investigators have said they found a clue about her disappearance in a neighbor’s trash can Thursday.
They soon found the girl’s body in woods that had been searched previously, and then found the neighbor, 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor, dead in his home.
Cayce Public Safety officers said the girl’s death is being investigated as a homicide.
The girl’s disappearance shocked Cayce, a town of about 13,000 just west of Columbia. Several prayer vigils were held while she was missing and after her body was found.
A public memorial for Faye will be 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce.