Cayce, SC – Police announced on Thursday afternoon that searchers had found the body of Faye Swetlik, the six-year-old girl missing in the Churchill Heights neighborhood since she got off the school bus on Monday.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we are announcing that we have found the body that the coroner has identified as Faye Marie Swetlik,” Cayce Department of Public Safety Chief Byron Snellgrove told reporters at an impromptu second press conference on Feb. 13. “We are now treating this case as a homicide.”
Chief Snellgrove, who fought hard not to cry as he made the announcement, said he wanted the community to know about the sad news right away because so many people had helped try to find Faye.
He told reporters the investigation was ongoing and remained fluid.
The chief also revealed that during the course of their investigation, the body of a dead man was found in the Churchill Heights neighborhood, too.
“That investigation has just begun,” Chief Snellgrove said.
He did not say how or if the two cases were related, but he did say that law enforcement believed there was no danger to the community at this time.
Chief Snellgrove kept it brief, took no questions, and promised to release more details soon.
Faye vanished after she got home from Springdale Elementary School on Monday.
Police said the little girl was last seen getting off the school bus and playing in her yard on Londonderry Lane in Cayce, off Highway 302, on Feb. 10, WYFF reported.
Cayce Department of Public Safety (DPS) Sergeant Evan Antley said Faye’s parents confirmed the first grader did arrive home after she got off the bus.
Chief Snellgrove said Faye’s mother said she was in the home when her daughter got home from school, WLTX reported.
She said she noticed Faye was missing at about 3:45 p.m., according to WYFF.
Police said the family contacted them about the missing little girl shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday.
Over 300 members of law enforcement, family, and volunteers have been actively searching the Churchill Heights area for Faye since Monday, WSOC reported.
On Wednesday, the authorities expanded the search area for the missing child beyond her neighborhood and even as far as the highway, WYFF reported.
Chief Snellgrove said he has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for assistance and that agents had joined the search, WLTX reported.
Police have asked people in the area with Ring doorbell cameras to check their footage for clues about the little girl’s disappearance.
Investigators said there was a great response to the request and they’re reviewing lots of videos in their search for leads, WLTX reported.
At the Thursday morning press conference, police said they were following up on leads they had gotten from those videos.
Police did not issue an AMBER Alert for Faye because they didn’t have any suspect information, as is required by South Carolina law, WYFF reported.