Officials have released the cause of death for the 6-year-old South Carolina girl who had been the subject of a missing child search.
Faye Swetlik died of asphyxiation hours after she was abducted, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said.
Faye had disappeared from the front yard of her home after getting off her school bus on Feb. 10, The Associated Press reported.
Fisher said she is not releasing any information on the condition of Faye’s body out of respect for her family other than she had been found dead in the woods that officials had previously searched. Faye’s death is being investigated as a homicide.
Officials said they found the body of neighbor Coty Scott Taylor, 30, dead in his home; the autopsy showed he committed suicide.
Officials said they found Faye’s DNA that put her in Taylor’s home.
Authorities said evidence leads them to believe Taylor abducted and killed Faye last Monday, then moved her to the woods sometime during the night or early morning hours.
“We believe that Faye had not been in that location for a very long time at all,” Sgt. Evan Antley said.
Police had contacted Taylor and interviewed him on Wednesday. They said he cooperated with their investigation and nothing seemed suspicious at the time or alerted officers, WSOC reported.
Police believed their deaths were connected after they found something that belonged to Faye in Taylor’s trash. Officials said they found a child’s polka-dot boot and a soup ladle with freshly dug dirt on it.
A remembrance service will be held Friday night for Faye. Her family said it will be child-friendly and would like everyone to wear pink and purple to honor their child.
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