Investigators link death of 30-year-old neighbor to homicide of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik

Police had gone to the man’s house during their search for Faye before they were both found dead.

Investigators link death of 30-year-old neighbor to homicide of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik
Investigators were able to find Faye's body after discovering a key piece of evidence in the trash can of one of her neighbors. (Source: Cayce Department of Public Safety)

CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - One day after police found the body of missing 6-year-old Faye Swetlik, investigators answered many pressing questions.

They identified the man who was found dead on the same day they found her body, and connected the cases.

Faye disappeared while playing in her front yard after school on Monday. Her body was found in a wooded area of her Cayce, South Carolina neighborhood on Thursday morning.

Investigators were able to find her body after going through trash cans in the neighborhood that same morning.

Police found a critical piece of evidence in the trash can of one of Faye’s neighbors. That led them back to a man’s house -- the man who was also found dead.

The evidence found was something that was listed on her missing person flyer, police said.

Friday morning, the coroner identified the man who died as Coty Scott Taylor, 30, of 602 Picadilly Square in the Churchill Heights neighborhood.

That’s less than 500 feet from where Faye lived with her mother on Londonderry Square.

While her body was located in a wooded area of the neighborhood, near one of the entrances, Taylor’s body was found in his home, police said.

Police said they did not think Faye’s body had been in the location where they found her for very long.

They are investigating both Faye’s homicide and the man’s death as the same case. They said they are not looking for a person of interest and no arrests have been made in Faye’s death.

Taylor was a neighbor of Faye’s -- not a relative or any kind of a friend, police said.

Investigators said they had been at Taylor’s house during the search for Faye, before finding them both dead. Police had talked to him and searched inside his home, they said.

“This is not the outcome we wanted,” Sgt. Evan Antley, of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, said. “Our work continues to bring justice for Faye Marie Swetlik.”

Investigators want to know more about Taylor. They want to know where he was around the time Faye was last seen, and what he was doing during the days that Faye was missing.

Taylor had no criminal history and was not known to law enforcement, police said.

A Beaufort County School District official confirmed that Taylor attended Bluffton High School from 2003-2007 and graduated in 2007. According to the school district, Taylor had good academic standings and no disciplinary record.

The University of South Carolina says he enrolled at the UofSC Beaufort campus in 2007 before transferring to UofSC in the fall of 2008 and ultimately withdrawing in 2009.

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Antley said the case has been hard for everyone involved.

“Possibly the toughest day for many law enforcement careers,” he said.

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing SRO at Springdale. Her love for the children is astounding! Please continue to pray for all those affected by this senseless tragedy. - Chief Bear

Posted by Town of Springdale Police Department on Friday, February 14, 2020

He also thanked everyone in the neighborhood.

“We want to thank that neighborhood, we went in there and turned their lives upside down," Antley said. “We made them late for work, we searched their homes and we invaded their privacy, but we did it for a reason and we had a goal.”

Police did not share Faye or Taylor’s cause of death. An autopsy for both of them is scheduled for Saturday.

After Faye’s autopsy, police were escort her body back to Lexington County to be laid to rest.

Sweet little baby girl Faye Swetlik is going to get a police escort back to Lexington County from Charleston by...

Posted by Margaret Fisher, Lexington County Coroner on Friday, February 14, 2020

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