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Feb. 14 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — Authorities said critical evidence links a 30-year-old man found dead in his home to a 6-year-old South Carolina girl whose body was found Thursday following an intensive three-day search.
Sgt. Evan Antley of the Cayce, S.C., public safety department told reporters investigators located the body of first-grader Faye Marie Swetlik after the undisclosed evidence connected to her disappearance in the trash of a neighborhood house.
Antley said the house was the residence of Coty Scott Taylor, 30. He was found dead inside the home.
While not officially confirming that Taylor was a suspect in Faye’s disappearance and death, Antley said police were no longer searching for suspects and that there was no further danger to residents of the Churchill Heights neighborhood in Greater Columbia.
Taylor had no criminal history and was unknown to police, Antley said, adding, “He was not a relative, he was not a friend, he was merely a neighbor that lived in Churchill Heights.”
Police had been searching for Faye since she was last seen playing in her yard Monday. Authorities said her body was ultimately found in a wooded area not far from her home.
The girl’s discovery has shocked the small town of Cayce, which is located about 5 miles southwest of Columbia.
“I am just in tears,” said resident Lisa Trotter, whose granddaughter attended school with Faye. “We all wanted Faye to be brought home safely. This really hits close to home and our entire community is devastated.”