The County of Lexington Coroner said in a press conference on Tuesday that Faye Swetlik, who vanished from her home in Cayce, South Carolina, last Monday, died of homicide.
Margaret Fisher said at the news conference that the six-year-old girl died of asphyxiation, and that she was not killed at the location where her body was found last week.
Fisher said that authorities believe Faye “died elsewhere, and her body had been at that location for only a short time.”
Investigators found Faye’s body last Thursday in a wooded area very close to the girl’s home. A man identified as Coty Taylor, reportedly a neighbor of Faye’s, was found dead in his home, just yards away, on the same day.
The coroner said she believes Faye was killed a few hours after she was abducted.
“Unless there is new evidence we will not release any additional information regarding Faye Marie Swetlik,” Fisher said.
Another law enforcement official said that police were led to Faye’s body when they found a polka-dot boot and a soup ladel filled with dirt in a trash bin during a search of the neighborhood ahead of garbage collection on Thursday.
“The deceased male had been contacted and interviewed … on Wednesday afternoon,” the official said.
Taylor was reportedly cooperative and investigators had no reason to believe he was involved in Faye’s disappearance at that time.
Police believe that Taylor kidnapped and killed Faye, and that he acted alone.
Authorities said they will share Taylor’s autopsy reports with the media following the press conference.
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