Coroner: 6-year-old Faye Swetlik died from asphyxiation; death ruled a homicide

Coroner: 6-year-old Faye Swetlik died from asphyxiation; death ruled a homicide

CAYCE, S.C. (WMBF) – The Lexington County coroner confirmed that the death of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik was a homicide.

That announcement was made Tuesday, as the results of the child’s autopsy were revealed. According to coroner Margaret Fisher, Swetlik died of asphyxiation and was killed only hours after her Feb. 10 abduction from her yard in the Churchill Heights subdivision in Cayce. Her body was found Thursday, Feb. 13.

According to authorities, a short time after finding Swetlik’s body, they found the body of 30-year-old Coty Taylor at his home nearby on Piccadilly Square, less than 500 feet from where Faye lived with her mother at their home on Londonderry Square.

Authorities said evidence showed Taylor kidnapped and murdered Swetlik. He was also listed as the sole perpetrator of the crime.

More than 250 members of law enforcement, including FBI agents, officers with the State Law Enforcement Division, and Cayce police officers worked around the clock for more than 72 hours searching for her.

Police said a piece of evidence found in a trash can in the neighborhood led them to go back to a wooded area they had already searched. That's where they said the 6-year-old’s body was found.

Byron Snellgrove, director of the Cyace Department of Public Safety, said a child’s polka dot boot was found in a trash can near Piccadilly Square, which eventually led investigators to Swetlik’s remains.

According to Snellgrove, Taylor had been contacted and interviewed on Wednesday, Feb. 12. He was listed as cooperative and authorities there was nothing that would lead them to believe he knew anything about the case.

Authorities said Tuesday that Swetlik’s body had only been in the wooded area a short time before its discovery.

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