Missing 6-year-old Faye Swetlik found dead, being treated as homicide: South Carolina police

EMILY SHAPIRO

Missing 6-year-old Faye Swetlik found dead, being treated as homicide: South Carolina police originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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.

MORE: Search intensifies for missing 6-year-old in South Carolina: 'I'm going crazy not knowing'

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.

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."

MORE: Hundreds searching for 6-year-old girl who vanished while playing outside her home

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.

PHOTO: Missing 6-year-old Faye Swetnik is seen in this video released by the city of Cayce as she got off her school bus Feb. 10, 2020. (City of Cayce)

Her disappearance sparked a massive, three-day search.

PHOTO: A Cayce police officer approaches a vehicle at a road block near an entrance to the Churchill Heights neighborhood, Feb. 13, 2020, in Cayce, S.C., where six year-old Faye Marie Swetlik recently went missing. (Sean Rayford/AP)

Investigators knocked on every door in her neighborhood, combed through hundreds of hours of video and interviewed witnesses, officials said Wednesday.

PHOTO: A law enforcement officer talks with a driver at a road block near an entrance to the Churchill Heights neighborhood, Feb.13, 2020, in Cayce, S.C. (Sean Rayford/AP)

"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.