Coroner releases cause of death for 6-year-old found dead in Cayce, SC

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CAYCE, SC (NBC/WBRE/WYOU-TV) – A 6-year-old South Carolina girl was a kidnapping and homicide victim who died by asphyxiation at the hands of a neighbor, authorities said Tuesday.

Faye Marie Swetlik.
Faye Marie Swetlik.Cayce Department of Public Safety / via Facebook

The body of first-grader Faye Swetlik was found Thursday near her home in Cayce, just outside of Columbia, police said.

“Faye’s death did not occur at the location where her body was discovered,” Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters. “We have concluded Faye’s death was a homicide and took place within a few hours of when she was abducted.”

She was killed by her neighbor, previously identified as 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor, police said.

Coty Taylor / CNN

The little girl had been reported missing on Feb. 10 and Taylor was found dead on his patio shortly after Swetlik’s body was discovered on Thursday, police said.

The big break in the case came moments earlier when police, following garbage trucks in the neighborhood, found the girl’s polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt in Taylor’s trash, officials said.

That discovery quickly led officers to the girl’s body, police said.

Swetlik was last seen around 3:45 p.m. on that Monday afternoon playing outside her family’s home in the Churchill Heights neighborhood of Cayce. Her mother called 911 about an hour later.

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