The South Carolina community that searched, prayed, and then cried for a missing 6-year-old girl said goodbye Friday to the youngster, who disappeared from her front yard and was found dead three days later, the AP reports. A sea of bright colors, especially pink and purple, filled Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce where folk gathered for a public memorial service to honor and remember the bubbly spirit of 6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik. The stairs leading to the pulpit were filled with flowers, stuffed animals and pictures of the child. Prior to a eulogy read by the church's pastor, Dr. Eddie Coakley, the song "Better When I'm Dancing" played as a video rolled showing photos of Faye's smiling face. Audience members were seen wiping away tears as that and other videos of the child were played.
Coakley said the eulogy was written by the girl's mother, who acknowledged having a hard time "explaining the life of someone who meant so much to so many in just a few paragraphs." Her mother wrote that Faye "became my whole world in just a few minutes" and recalled how she got her name. "Faye is French for fairy. When I was pregnant, she felt like fairies dancing around. And I always wanted her to believe in magic, so she was dubbed Faye Marie—my little fairy Mary. Änd magic she was." The first-grader was playing in her front yard after getting off the school bus Feb. 10 when she disappeared. More than 200 officers searched for her until Thursday, when Faye's body was found. DNA evidence connects the girl's death to a neighbor, Coty Scott Taylor. (See what Taylor did to himself.)