CAYCE, SC (WSPA) – Lexington County Coroner’s Office officials released the results of the autopsy of a 6-year-old Cayce, SC girl whose body was found last week after a lengthy search.
Coroner Margaret Fisher confirmed that Faye Swetlik died from asphyxiation and died within hours of her disappearance.
Fisher confirmed earlier that Swetlik’s body was found in the Churchill Heights neighborhood where she lived.
Cayce Department of Public Safety officials said during a news conference last week that a man’s body was found at a home on Picadilly Square on the same day authorities located Swetlik’s body.
Coroner Margaret Fisher identified the man’s body as that of Coty Scott Taylor, 30, who lived at the address on Picadilly Square.
Authorities said last week that a critical item of evidence that led to the discovery of Swetlik’s body was found inside a trash can outside of Taylor’s home.
On Tuesday, Byron Snellgrove, director of Cayce Department of Public Safety, revealed what those items found in the trash can were.
“As our officers went through it, they found a couple of items of significant importance,” Snellgrove said. “One was a child’s polka dot boot. The second was a soup ladle that had freshly dug dirt in it.”
“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,” Snellgrove said. “Faye’s body was moved in the shadow of the night to behind the town houses 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.”
Members of the community have spent the past week praying for Faye’s safe return. Once news of her death was released, the community switched to mourning. What started as just one bouquet of flowers at the entrance of Churchill Heights quickly grew into dozens of bouquets, stuffed animals, pictures, and candles. Many residents expressed their fear, concern and pain.
“Even though I didn’t know this little girl i have three grandkids of my own and it just touches home,” said Linda Adkins.
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.