Neighbor Slit His Own Throat After Strangling 6-Year-Old

Authorities release more details about the murder of 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2020 4:54 PM CST
Neighbor Strangled Missing Girl, Then Slit His Own Throat
A Cayce police officer approaches a vehicle at a road block near an entrance to the Churchill Heights neighborhood Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Cayce, SC.   (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

A 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her front yard after school was strangled by a neighbor who then killed himself, authorities said Tuesday. Faye Marie Swetlik died just hours after she was abducted, Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters, per the AP. Her body was found nearly three days later in woods near her home and had been put there just hours earlier, Fisher said. Between that time, investigators had spoken with the suspect. Coty Scott Taylor let them search his home a few doors down from the girl. They saw nothing to suggest the girl was ever there, Cayce Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said. Shortly after the girl's body was found, authorities said, they were called to Taylor's home where he was found dead on his back porch, covered in blood.

Taylor, 30, slit his own throat, Fisher said in a statement released after Tuesday's news conference, in which the coroner only wanted to talk in front of cameras about the girl. Fisher also refused to release any details about the condition of the girl's body or disclose any other way she might have been injured out of respect for her family. Snellgrove also didn't talk about why Taylor, with no criminal record, would have kidnapped the girl. He said last week that Taylor did not know the girl or her family. The girl was last seen alive playing in her Cayce front yard after getting off the school bus on Feb. 10. The clue that cracked the case came from a trash can. Investigators followed a trash truck going around the neighborhood Thursday and sifted through every can as it was emptied. Inside Taylor's can, Snellgrove said, they found a rain boot matching one Faye was wearing and a ladle full of dirt.

(More missing child stories.)

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