6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik was strangled to death by neighbor

News 19 February, 2020

South Carolina authorities say 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik was strangled to death by a neighbor hours after she vanished from her front yard last week.

An autopsy report found that the child’s cause of death was asphyxiation, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said at a press conference Tuesday.

Investigators say Coty Taylor, 30, abducted the first-grader on Feb. 10. Her body was later dumped in a wooded area near her home, where she was found Thursday following a massive manhunt.

Taylor was found dead in his home shortly after investigators discovered Swetlik’s body. Authorities revealed DNA evidence from his home linked him to Swetlik.

“Evidence leads us to believe that the deceased abducted and killed 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik and it appears that he is the sole perpetrator of this crime,” Cayce Department of Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove told reporters.

“Faye’s body was moved in the shadow of the night to behind the townhouses where she was found in the early morning hours of Thursday,” Snellgrove said.

Authorities didn’t provide a possible motive or additional details about Swetlik’s death. Taylor’s autopsy results have yet to be released.

A vigil for the child is set for this evening.