Shortly after finding the body of a missing South Carolina 6-year-old girl, authorities discovered a "deceased male" in the same neighborhood. Now, investigators have identified that man as a neighbor of the girl's and confirmed that the two deaths are linked.
Faye Swetlik was found dead Thursday morning in the Churchill Heights neighborhood of Cayce, where her family lived, following a frantic three-day-search, according to the Lexington County Coroner’s Office. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. Swetlik had vanished Monday afternoon while playing in her yard shortly after returning home from school.
The Cayce Department of Public Safety announced at a Thursday afternoon news conference that a "deceased male" was also found by investigators in the same neighborhood. On Friday. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher identified that man as Coty Scott Taylor, 30. Cayce Department of Public Safety Sgt. Evan Antley said Taylor was Swetlik’s neighbor.
Taylor was found dead inside his home “just moments” after Swetlik’s body was discovered in a wooded area located between her home and a local auto shop, Antley said. While he didn't officially identify Taylor as Swetlik's suspected killer, Antley said he has been linked to Swetlik’s death and investigators aren't looking for any other possible suspects or person of interests.
Taylor doesn't have a criminal history. A company tried to sue him in a payment dispute last year but the court sided in Taylor's favor, according to court records.
Antley said a "critical piece of evidence" was found in one of Taylor’s trash cans which led to the discovery of Swetlik's body. While he wouldn’t identify what that evidence was, he said that it was a "critical piece of evidence that would have been listed on her missing person's flier." Her missing persons flier listed several items of clothing she was wearing, including polka dot rainboots and a shirt with the phrase “Peace” on it.
Swetlik’s body had not been in the wooded area “for a very long time at all,” Antley said.
Autopsies will be conducted on both bodies on Saturday, Fisher said at the briefing.
“This is not the outcome we wanted,” a distraught-sounding Antley said. “Our work continues to bring justice for Faye Marie Swetlik.”
He asked people to continue to pray for the slain child.
“This has been a horrible situation for our community and for our department,” he said.
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