CAYCE, S.C. (WCBD) – Officials with the Lexington County Coroner’s Office released the results of an autopsy on 6-year-old Faye Swetlik.
Coroner Margaret Fisher confirmed that Swetlik’s cause of death was asphyxiation and said the young girl died within hours of her disappearance.
Officials say Swetlik’s death did not occur at the location where her body was found, according to Fisher, which was in a wooded area of the Churchill Heights neighborhood.
Fisher thanked the public and media for their cooperation and for respecting the family’s privacy during this time.
Cayce Department of Public Safety Director, Byron Snellgrove, emphasized that this was not just an investigation, it was personal to law enforcement and the community.
He thanked the community for their efforts in helping law enforcement throughout the case.
Snellgrove identified the “key items” found in a trash can that led to the discovery of Swetlik’s body as a child’s rain boot and a soup ladle covered in freshly dug dirt.
Shortly after finding those items and Swetlik’s body, officers were alerted to a male that was bleeding in a nearby residence.
Officers responded and found Coty Scott Taylor dead; a DNA test was conducted and confirmed that he was linked to the case.
Snellgrove said that Taylor had been interviewed previously, and cooperated with law enforcement; nothing stood out to them at the time.
Authorities believe that Taylor abducted and killed Swetlik, and was the only one involved.
Coroner Fisher said Taylor’s death was the result of an incised wound to the neck, which was determined to be suicide.
Snellgrove invited the community to a memorial for Swetlik, which will be held on the Lawn in front of Cayce City Hall at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.