Law enforcement officials in Cayce, South Carolina believe 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor — the man who has been implicated in the disappearance and murder of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik — perished by his own hand.
They also believe Swetlik died sometime on Monday (the day of her disappearance), although no details have been provided regarding the time or cause of her death — which is currently being investigated by the Cayce public safety department as a homicide.
According to local law enforcement sources, new information in the case was provided to them by Lexington county coroner Margaret Fisher — who ordered autopsies on both bodies Saturday.
The Lexington County Coroner’s Office will officially release more information on both autopsies Tuesday.
The body of Swetlik, whose disappearance Monday afternoon shocked the Palmetto State to its core, was discovered by Cayce public safety director Byron Snellgrove in a wooded area in the Churchill Heights neighborhood (close to Taylor’s home) at around 11:00 a.m. EST on Thursday.
Shortly thereafter, police found Taylor’s body at his home at 602 Picadilly Square.
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No arrests have been made and the community is not in danger, Sgt. Evan Antley of the Cayce Department of Public Safety said on Friday.
According to Antley, police found a “critical piece of evidence” Thursday while searching through Taylor’s trash can that led them to finding Faye. Antley said officers were following a trash truck and searching through trash in the neighborhood as a part of their investigation Thursday.
Antley said Taylor was “not a friend” or a family member of Faye’s, but just a neighbor who lived in Churchill Heights — less than 150 feet from Faye’s home. 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 Friday.
Antley previously said officers spoke with Taylor and “had been inside his home” during the investigation. Because the investigation was so narrow, officers went door-to-door asking neighbors if they could search their homes and speak to detectives about the case.
Cayce police have said evidence links the two bodies, but they have not provided any further information.
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.
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 Swetlik 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,” Evan Antley said on Friday. “This has been a horrible situation for our community and our department.”
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.
As of Friday, the investigation was still open.
On Saturday, Faye Swetlik’s body was escorted by law enforcement agencies from MUSC in Charleston where the autopsy was performed, back to Cayce.
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