Cayce Director of Public Safety Byron Snellgrove found Faye’s body in a wooded area in the Churchill Heights neighborhood close to Taylor’s home around 11 a.m. Thursday, Sgt. Evan Antley said Friday.
“We believe Faye had not been in that location for very long at all,” Antley said.
Just moments after finding Faye — who went missing from outside of her home on Londonderry Lane in Cayce Monday afternoon — police discovered Taylor’s body.
Autopsies for Taylor and Swetlik will be conducted Saturday, according to the Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, who did not release a cause of death for either of them.
Antley said that evidence links the two cases, but did not comment further as the case is an open investigation. Asked specifically if authorities believe Taylor killed Faye Swetlik, Antley said he could not say at this time.
According to Antley, police found a “critical piece of evidence” Thursday while searching through Taylor’s trash can that led them to finding Faye.
Faye Swetlik’s death is being investigated as a homicide. No arrests have been made and the community is not in danger, Antley stressed on Friday.
Antley said Taylor was “not a friend” or a family member of Faye’s, but just a neighbor who lived in Churchill Heights. He said Taylor didn’t have a criminal record and “was not known to law enforcement.”
“We have no suspects at this time, we have made no arrests, and we’re not seeking any persons of interests at this time,” Antley said.
According to his Facebook page, Coty Taylor was a graduate of Bluffton High School in Bluffton, South Carolina who studied math at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and worked as a manager at Jimmy John’s.
Authorities have not released details of Faye’s death. At this point, we do not know how she died or when she died.
“Now begins the investigation into her homicide and the Cayce Department of Public Safety, along with local, state and federal law enforcement partners, will continue to work together to bring this case to a close,” Cayce Department of Public Safety officials posted on Facebook Thursday.
More than 250 officers from over 20 law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), searched tirelessly throughout the Churchill Heights neighborhood for three days this week. They used tracking dogs and helicopters in the search.
Officials kept their search extremely limited over the course of their investigation —stretching just past the 1-mile radius of the Churchill Heights neighborhood. The neighborhood has been shut down by police in the last few hours with no one being allowed in or out, WIS TV reported.
The neighborhood is about about 2 miles from the Columbia airport and less than a mile west of I-26.
Before her body was discovered, Faye was last seen playing outside of her home on Londonderry Lane in Cayce 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.”
Faye’s mother called 911 around 5 p.m. Monday after she realized her daughter was missing.
Faye was a first grader at Springdale Elementary School in West Columbia. Since she went missing Monday, her story has made national headlines and captured the hearts of thousands across the nation.
“I want everyone to continue to pray for Faye Swetlik,” Antley said. “This has been a horrible situation for our community and our department.”
Cayce authorities released 911 audio in the case yesterday.