A 6-year-old South Carolina girl has been found dead, authorities said Thursday, three days after she vanished outside her home.
The death of first-grader Faye Swetlik is being treated as a homicide, Cayce Department of Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said Thursday.
It's with extremely heavy hearts that we report the body of missing 6 y.o. Faye has been found.
The investigation into her homicide has begun & the @Cayce_DPS still needs your help. If you have any info regarding this case, please call the tip line: 803-205-4444. #JusticeforFaye pic.twitter.com/6YOilzO6vY
— Lexington Sheriff (@LCSD_News) February 13, 2020
He did not elaborate on Faye's death but said a deceased male was found in Faye's neighborhood of Churchill Heights. That investigation has just begun, he said.
— Maria Szatkowski (@MariaSzatkowski) February 13, 2020
Police believe there is no danger to the community, Snellgrove said.
Lexington School District, where Faye was a student, issued a statement, saying, "We are heart-broken with news of the death of Faye Swetlik, a first-grade student at Springdale Elementary, who went missing earlier this week. When the school community experiences a tragedy like the loss of a child, it deeply affects all of us."
The school's principal, Hope Vrana, said in a letter to students' parents that a counselor would be on hand "in the coming days."
Faye was last seen around 3:45 p.m. Monday. She had gotten off the school bus and was playing in front of her home in Cayce, just outside of Columbia, according to the Cayce Department of Public Safety.
Her disappearance sparked a massive, three-day search.
Investigators knocked on every door in her neighborhood, combed through hundreds of hours of video and interviewed witnesses, officials said Wednesday.
"She’s not the type of kid that will walk away," her family said in a statement earlier this week. "Faye pays attention to her surroundings."
"We just want to find Faye and bring her home," the family said.