CAYCE, S.C. — Cayce Department of Public Safety Chief Byron Snellgrove says Faye Swetlik, the 6-year-old girl who’d been missing for days, has been found dead.
His voice trembling, Snellgrove said “it is with extremely heavy hearts we announce we have found the body of Faye Marie Swetlik.”
He said they are treating this as a homicide. Another man was found dead in the neighborhood as well. At this time, the investigation into that death is just beginning.
Snellgrove said there is no danger to the community
This is a breaking news update. Other details will be posted soon
Cayce DPS Sgt. Evan Antley earlier gave an update Thursday on the effort to find Swetlik, who was last seen playing in front of her home Monday afternoon.
“In a case of this nature, we are leaving no stone unturned,” Antley said. “We are looking for even the smallest piece of evidence that could point us in the direction of bringing Faye home.”
Late Wednesday night, officers released a video which included several pictures of two vehicles. Antley said those images were pushed out moments after they were discovered. One was an SUV, while the other was a silver sedan. Antley said they’ve identified and spoken to the driver of the Chevy Trailblazer SUV, but investigators are still seeking information about the silver sedan.
Cayce officers say they have yet to identify the occupant of the sedan. Officers say the vehicle occupant may have information relating to the investigation.
Anyone with information on where Faye might be or who has information should call the hotline set up for tips at 803-205-4444.
‘Our Goal remains to bring Faye Home:’ Investigation Latest:
Swetlik was last seen around 3:44 p.m. Monday while playing in her front yard at Londonderry Lane in Cayce just off Highway 302 in the Churchill Heights neighborhood. Cayce DPS Chief Byron Snellgrove said Tuesday that the little girl’s mother was home at the time of the disappearance.
Antley called the search the largest investigation he’s ever been a part of, and involves his agency working hand in hand with the FBI and SLED. He added that they’re gathering more video, and it is coming in by the hour. Tech experts are looking through that video.
“We’ve gone to every door, talked to every homeowner, we’re following up on every house that we have missed,” Antley said.
People who don’t live in the neighborhood are being held out. he said he did not know when those restrictions would be lifted.
“If we have to hold that neighborhood for another hour, or another week, we will,” Antley said.
Sgt. Antley said they have towed vehicles, but could not give any additional information about what was inside those cars. He also confirmed they’ve looked in trash cans, trucks and did send investigators to a landfill off Edmund Highway, but said that’s all part of being thorough.
They’re still trying to stop rumors about what’s happened to the girl.
“Rumors that false could potentially divert valuable resources that could bring the girl home,” Antley said.
Investigators said Faye rode the bus home from school and got off near her home. Officers have released a new video taken from a bus surveillance camera of the moment when the little girl got off the vehicle. They’re asking people to share that video out.
The search area has been expanded out past the initial one-mile radius, and has now stretched almost to Interstate 26.
More than 250 officers have been part of the search, going door to door, speaking to neighbors and searching the family home. Cayce DPS Chief Byron Snellgrove said he invited the FBI to join the search, and they are actively participating in the search.
Antley said they have a systematic way of doing things and that’s why bringing in volunteers would be counterproductive to collecting evidence.
Officers had asked residents with RING doorbells to check their video feed for clues or information about Swetlik. Investigators say they’ve gotten a good response from the public, and they’re looking at videos and expanding on leads.
She has also been entered into the NCIC database as missing.
‘I Want My Baby Back'” The Family Speaks Out:
Faye’s grandmother, Ruth Collins, spoke out after a prayer vigil on her granddaughter’s disappearance.
“I want my baby back,” Collins said. “We’ve got to find her.”
Collins attended the prayer vigil with other family members and close friends.
“We’re worried of course, very distraught, but we have to keep thinking of positive thoughts,” says Monica Foutz, a friend of the family. “We have to keep thinking that they’re going to find her. We’re just waiting on them to do it.”
WLTX’s sister station WCNC Charlotte went to Faye’s father’s home in Rowan County Tuesday afternoon. His girlfriend, who considers herself Faye’s stepmother, said they last saw Faye around Christmas time, but they were actually planning to visit her in Cayce, South Carolina this weekend.The girlfriend said they are hoping anyone with video surveillance will provide it to police, adding they also hope anyone with information will call the special tip line for the case.
Who is Faye?
Swetlik is a first-grader at Springdale Elementary School. Snellgrove talked Tuesday little bit about the kind of girl Swetlik is.
“Faye is a bubbly, energetic,” he said. “Faye’s teacher loves her, Faye’s SRO loves her, Faye’s classmates love her. When she walks into a room she brightens it up. Everybody loves Faye.”
Snellgrove said the girl loves dresses, fancy shoes, spending time with her family, cats, and playing outside.
Foutz and Collins say Faye likes to collect rocks, play outside and take selfies with her family and friends.
“She’s fun, bubbly, loves to color, always has a smile on her face and the prettiest blue eyes you’ve ever seen,” says Foutz. “A smile that would melt your heart.”