Police: 6-year-old Faye Swetlik died from asphyxiation at the hands of deceased neighbor

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UPDATE: Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher confirmed that 6-year-old Faye Swetlik, whose body was found in Cayce, SC on Feb. 13 after a lengthy search, died from asphyxiation within a few hours of her disappearance.

Asphyxiation means she was strangled or choked to death. Authorities said they have evidence that shows Coty Scott Taylor, 30, a neighbor, killed her.

“Evidence leads us to believe that the deceased abducted and killed Faye Swetlik and it appears that he is the sole perpetrator of this crime,” said Byron Snellgrove, director of Cayce Department of Public Safety. “Faye’s body was moved in the shadow of the night to behind the townhouses where she was found.”

Fisher said during the news conference that this homicide case has been “extremely difficult on all of us.”

“To Faye’s mother and father, my heart — like so many others — breaks for you,” said said. “I know there is nothing that I can say that will bring you comfort or peace. I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through and for the loss of your precious baby girl.”

Fisher released Tuesday afternoon that Taylor, 30, died as a result of a cut to his neck. Taylor’s manner of death was ruled a suicide.

We’ll continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say they will soon release how a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her front yard was killed, along with details on the death of a neighbor whose body was found moments after the child.

Cayce officers and the Lexington County Coroner’s Office plan a news conference Tuesday. Investigators have said they found a clue to Faye Marie Swetlik’s disappearance in the neighbor’s trash can Thursday.

Not long after, they found the girl’s body in woods that had been carefully searched before and then found the neighbor 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor dead in his home.

The girl got off the school bus and was last seen playing in her Cayce front yard on Monday.

A press conference is scheduled for today at 3:00pm in Cayce, S.C.

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