Faye Marie Swetlik, missing S.C. girl found dead: Police identify man found during search

CAYCE, S.C. – Authorities on Friday identified a man whose body was found during the search for Faye Marie Swetlik, a South Carolina girl who was also found dead Thursday in Cayce.

Coty Scott Taylor, 30, was found dead shortly after Faye’s body was found Thursday morning, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher and Sergeant First Class Evan Antley with the Cayce Department of Public Safety said.

Investigators said Taylor was linked to the investigation into Faye’s death and that he was not a relative or friend of Faye’s family.

“He was merely a neighbor,” Antley told reporters at a Friday afternoon news conference.

Taylor did not have a criminal history and was not known to law enforcement, according to Antley.

Faye Marie Swetlik, 6, went missing after she got off a school bus near her home in South Carolina.

The 6-year-old was reported missing Monday afternoon about an hour after getting off her school bus from nearby Springdale Elementary near her home in the Churchill Heights neighborhood in Cayce. 

Selena Collins, Faye’s mother, sounded desperate and distraught as she breathlessly described what her daughter was wearing when she was last seen playing in the front yard about an hour earlier, according to audio recordings of Collins’ 911 call.

Collins told 911 operators she spent the time in between last seeing her daughter and making the call to search for Faye and ask neighbors if they’d seen her.

Investigators from Cayce Department of Public Safety, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI searched the neighborhood for days.

Early Thursday, investigators followed sanitation trucks around the neighborhood to empty trash cans and inspect the contents before they were taken away.

Antley said a critical item connected to the case was found in a trash can at Taylor’s home.

“Based on that discovery, we narrowed down an area that we felt as an investigative team that we needed to go back to and look for more evidence,” Antley said.

As investigators were in the early planning stages of the renewed search, Cayce Department of Public SafetyDirector Byron Snelgrove found the Faye’s body in a wooded area near Taylor’s home. 

Antley said the area had been searched before and investigators do not believe she was in that location for long before her body was found.

A short time later, investigators found Taylor’s body inside his home. 

The investigation is ongoing. Antley said authorities are working to determine whether anyone else was involved. 

Autopsies are scheduled Saturday for both Faye and Taylor. 

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