Cayce DPS: Evidence suggests neighbor abducted, killed Faye Swetlik

Lexington County Coroner says Faye's death was a homicide caused by asphyxiation

CAYCE, S.C. (WOLO) —New details have been revealed on the cause of death for both six-year-old Faye Swetlik and a man found yards away from her body.

Cayce Director of Public Safety Byron Snellgrove says evidence points to Coty Taylor, 30, killing Faye just hours after she was abducted last week.

Authorities found a polka dot rain boot and a ladle filled with dirt inside a garbage can outside 602 Picadilly Square during a search Thursday morning.

Byron Snellgrove, Cayce’s Director of Public Safety, was on scene Thursday morning when they narrowed the search to Coty Taylor’s yard.

“As assistance was coming, I went into the woods behind the townhomes, and just before 10:30, I had found the body of Faye Swetlik,” Snellgrove said.

Snellgrove said it did not seem the body had been there very long, and had possibly been moved there overnight.

Shortly after Snellgrove found the body, officers found Taylor’s body on his back patio.

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher determined 30-year-old Coty Taylor’s death was a suicide caused by a wound to the neck.

Authorities say Taylor was cooperative with investigators and even let officers into his home Wednesday afternoon. Snellgrove said investigators told him prior to the bodies being found that there was nothing in the home indicating Taylor had anything to do with Faye being missing.

However, Snellgrove said finding the critical pieces of evidence in a garbage can outside his home changed the course of the investigation.

“Evidence leads us to believe the deceased male abducted and killed Faye Marie Swetlik, and he was the sole perpetrator of this crime,” Snellgrove said.

Throughout the day Tuesday, many people continued to honor Faye by adding to an ever-growing memorial.

“I’ve got a daughter the same age. I had to come into town to pay my respects on my day off,” said Ed Caba, a resident of Graniteville who visited the memorial Tuesday.

Others say Faye’s story has brought the community together.

“I think it’s awesome that everyone’s putting their differences aside and come together for her. It shows she was a special little girl,” said Angie Crim, who lives in West Columbia.

Several people that came to the memorial today say they plan to be in attendance at Faye’s memorial service, which will be held Friday, February 21, at 7 pm at Trinity Baptist Church.

Family members say they want the service to be a child-friendly event, and they request that anyone participating wear pink or purple. 

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