Details Emerge in the Murder of 6-Year-Old Faye Swetlik

Investigators discovered a clue in Coty Scott Taylor’s trash can that cracked the case.

Faye Swetlik [Cayce Department of Public Safety Facebook Page]

Faye Swetlik [Cayce Department of Public Safety Facebook Page]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A 6-year-old girl in South Carolina who went missing from her front yard after returning home from school died from asphyxiation, authorities said during a Tuesday press conference.

Faye Marie Swetlik was last seen outside her home in Cayce on Feb. 10. Hundreds of officers canvassed her Churchill Heights neighborhood, and the little girl’s body was discovered in a nearby wooded area three days later.

Shortly after Swetlik’s body was located, police found her neighbor, Coty Scott Taylor, 30, covered in blood, dead on his back porch.

Taylor died by suicide from an "incised wound to the neck," Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said, according to Greenville’s WYFF-TV.

Cayce Department of Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said at the news conference that “DNA was tested and did connect and link the residence, the deceased male and Faye to that location," Chicago’s WMAQ-TV reported.

Detectives spoke with Taylor the day before his suicide. “He was cooperative and gave consent to agents to look through the house. Those agents did not see anything that alerted them to believe he had knowledge or was in any way involved in Faye’s disappearance at that time," Snellgrove said.

On the morning both bodies were discovered, investigators discovered a polka dot boot the little girl was wearing when she disappeared and a ladle filled with fresh dirt in Taylor’s trash can, according to the public safety director.

Evidence also showed "Faye's body was moved during the shadow of night to behind the townhouses where she was found in the early morning hours on Thursday morning," said Snellgrove, noting authorities believe Taylor is the “sole perpetrator of the crime.”

At a Tuesday night candlelight vigil, Springdale Elementary Principal Hope Vrana recalled Swetlik was a student who brought sunshine wherever she went.

“Everyone quickly grew to love her smile, her joyful spirit and her very kind heart," she said.

Read more: WHNS

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