In a press conference Wednesday, Cayce Department of Public Safety officials quashed rumors circulating on social media about the case. Several rumors on different Facebook pages were posted Wednesday morning said a body was found and the search appeared to be suspended — both of which were not true.
“We’ve noticed a lot of incorrect information on social media that’s being circulated around and shared across different platforms,” Evan Antley of the Cayce Department of Public Safety said Wednesday.
Antley said these rumors could possibly hurt the investigation. He urged the public to only shared verified information.
After their extensive 24-hour search —with more than 250 law enforcement officers and first-responders from more than 20 different agencies including the FBI and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) — Cayce Department of Public Safety officials said Tuesday evening they have found no evidence that Faye was abducted.
Faye was last seen playing outside of her home on Londonderry Lane in Cayce — about two miles from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport — around 3:45 p.m. Monday. Cayce Department of Public Safety officials said Faye rode the bus home yesterday and arrived at her home “like any other day.”
Cayce officials released a video (below) Wednesday afternoon that shows Faye getting off her school bus on Monday afternoon around 2:50 p.m. Antley asked the public to share that video.
Faye’s mother called 911 around 5 p.m. Monday when she realized her daughter was missing.
“Faye’s mother, her mother’s boyfriend, and father have been cooperative with us and the other agencies,” Cayce Police Chief Byron Snellgrove said in the Tuesday press conference. “Her parents are anxiously waiting her return.”
From the beginning, authorities have limited the search to a 1-mile radius. Snellgrove said Tuesday that it was possible she ran into the woods or went to a neighbor’s home. So far in the investigation, officials have not found any evidence that an abduction occurred.
On Wednesday, Antley said they were expanding that search to outside the immediate area of the Churchill Heights neighborhood.
Officials confirmed with FITSNews Monday night that the FBI was working with local law enforcement agents on the case. Snellgrove said at the Tuesday press conference they invited the FBI as they have agents who specialize missing children cases.
How social media can help
While they’re appreciative of the community’s support in the case, law enforcement officials do not want volunteers to participate in the search effort, Antley said Wednesday. Police have said the investigation is systematic and they only need trained officials.
“Keep praying. Keep sharing. Keep calling 803-205-4444 (the hotline for the case) if you have any information,” the Cayce Department of Public Safety said in a Facebook post.
Cayce Department of Public Safety officials asked anyone in the Churchill Heights community to contact the police if they have any surveillance systems such as Ring that could have captured activities in the neighborhood between 2-5 p.m. Monday.
Faye said investigators have received some surveillance already and they’re following up with all leads.
Officials urged the public to continue to share Faye’s photo and information on social media.
Faye is a first grader at Springdale Elementary School in West Columbia, South Carolina. She has shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a speech impediment and is lactose intolerant. She is 3-foot-10-inches tall and about 65 pounds.
Officials have shared a photo of the outfit Faye was last seen wearing a black shirt with neon letters that say “peace,” a flowery print skirt, and polka dot rain boots.
WIS journalist Caroline Hecker reported Tuesday that she saw FBI agents on the property where Faye was last seen. She wrote that they were “closely examining the back porch” and WIS reported that “Investigators have towed two cars away from the property. “
Antley said he could not comment on the towed cars, as the investigation is ongoing.
Antley was also asked if Faye’s mother was given a polygraph test. Again, Antley said he could not comment citing the open investigation.
An AMBER Alert has not been issued in this case because SLED has very specific criteria for activating an AMBER Alert based on the Department of Justice guidelines.We explained that further in this post.