Community remembers 6-year-old Faye Swetlik at candlelight vigil

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CAYCE, S.C. (WSPA) – Members of the Cayce community gathered Tuesday evening to honor the life of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik, who was murdered last week.

Tuesday afternoon, the Lexington County coroner announced that an autopsy showed Swetlik died of asphyxiation just a few hours after she was abducted last week.

Coty Taylor, the man suspected of killing her, was found dead by suicide soon after her body was found Thursday, according to the Cayce director of public safety.

“The unimaginable happened here,” said Cayce’s Mayor Elise Partin.

The death Faye Swetlik has shaken the Cayce community, affecting even those who didn’t know her.

“In the search for her and in our grief, we all became part of Faye’s family,” Partin said.

“Just thinking that it could’ve been my daughter…it hurts,” said Mariah Erickson, who lives in Lexington County. “It’s an innocent baby that was taken way too soon.”

Members of Faye’s family and the community shed tears as community leaders honored her at a vigil at Cayce City Hall Tuesday evening.

The principal of Springdale Elementary School described Faye as a bubbly little girl, full of wide-eyed curiosity, who quickly won over those who knew her.

“She added sunshine upon entering the school as she would bounce into breakfast with excitement and a morning hug,” Principal Hope Vrana said.

Partin said that in dealing with the worst of humanity, the ordeal also brought out the best in their community.

“What happened was unspeakable evil, but that wasn’t all that happened. We got to see who we are in the worst of times, and what we saw is a lot of good that can help us as we move forward,” she said.

The Cayce director of public safety said the family has asked that their privacy be respected right now.

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