Coroner: 6-year-old South Carolina girl died from asphyxiation, body had been moved

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CAYCE, S.C. — The coroner provided new information in the death of a 6-year-old South Carolina girl who disappeared from her front yard last week.

Autopsy results showed Faye Swetlik’s death was a homicide and took place only a few hours after she disappeared. The little girl died from asphyxiation, investigators said.

Investigators also said her body had been moved and she had not been at the location where she was found for very long.

Swetlik’s body was discovered in a wooded area near her home. Police previously said they were investigating her death as a homicide.

Her neighbor, 30-year-old Coty Taylor, was found dead in his home shortly after investigators found the little girl’s body. Taylor had been interviewed Wednesday afternoon and had cooperated with investigators. He was found dead the next day. Police believe he abducted the girl and was the sole perpetrator of the crime.

Police said they had obtained some surveillance video showing “suspicious” behavior from Taylor but didn’t elaborate further.

Authorities previously said the deaths of the girl and Taylor were linked. Evidence that helped lead authorities to Faye’s body was found in a trash can outside Taylor’s home.

After a press conference Tuesday, officials said Taylor’s autopsy showed he died by suicide. The coroner said the cause of death was an incised wound to the neck.

The girl disappeared Feb. 10 after getting off her school bus. She had been playing in the front yard when her parents last saw her. Dozens of law enforcement officers and volunteers searched for the little girl, whose body was discovered on Feb. 13.

A memorial service for Faye is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church. Caughman Harman Funeral Home said all funeral expenses will be covered.

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