Clue in trash led police to Faye Swetlik's body, dead neighbor linked to disappearance

Faye Swetlick 3.jpg
Faye Marie Swetlik (Provided)

Many questions were answered Friday regarding the disappearance and death of Faye Swetlik, a 6-year-old South Carolina girl who authorities say they discovered dead Thursday, February 13, after nearly 72 hours of searching.

According to the Cayce Dept. of Public Safety, Swetlik's body was discovered in a wooded area behind her house off Londonderry Square in the Churchill Heights neighborhood where she lived.

Sgt. Evan Antley with the Cayce DPS said investigators combing for evidence in trash cans discovered a key piece of evidence leading them to the area, even though they’d searched there multiple times previously.

Cayce DPS Chief Byron Snellgrove personally located Swetlik's body, according to Antley.

"We believe Faye hadn’t been in that location for a very long time at all," Antley said.

Immediately after, Antley says investigators located Coty Scott Taylor, 30, dead in his residence off Piccadilly Drive, which is just down the street from Swetlik's home.

Investigators do believe Taylor was involved in Swetlik's disappearance and death, Antley said.

"Our evidence and our investigation does link these two together," Antley said. "He was a neighbor. He was not a relative. He was not a friend. He was merely a neighbor."

Law enforcement had previously been in Taylor's home as part of their investigation, Antley said. Taylor had no criminal history, and was not previously known to law enforcement.

The evidence located as deputies searched through trash was an item mentioned in the missing person flyer released about Faye Swetlik's disappearance, Antley said.

When Swetlik disappeared Monday afternoon, February 10, authorities alerted the public that she was wearing a black shirt with the word "Peace" on the front, and polka-dot boots.

Faye Swetlik's death is being investigated as a homicide. Any autopsy is scheduled for her and for Taylor at MUSC in Charleston on Saturday.

Margaret Fisher, the Lexington County Coroner, said she could not reveal speculative cause of death for Taylor and Swetlik until the results of their autopsies.

Police say they currently don't have other suspects they're pursuing in the case, but said their investigation remains open.

This is not the outcome we wanted, but this is where we are, and our work continues to bring justice to Faye Marie Swetlik," said Antley. "My heart breaks for her family. As a parent, how do you go through that?"