Body of missing SC first-grader Faye Swetlik found; homicide investigation underway

Police announced Thursday that they found the body of South Carolina first-grader Faye Swetlik, who had been missing since Monday.

Authorities said a homicide investigation was underway and that no arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon. Investigators said they also found the body of a man in the neighborhood, but they couldn’t immediately say whether the two discoveries were connected.

More than 200 police officers, family members and volunteers were searching for Faye, who was last seen playing in front of her home Monday afternoon, shortly after she got off a school bus in the Churchill Heights neighborhood of Cayce, South Carolina.

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Detectives released images Wednesday night of two vehicles they said were spotted in the neighborhood around the time Faye vanished. On Thursday, officials said they had identified one of the vehicles and spoken to the driver, but they were still looking for information about the second vehicle, a silver sedan.

Investigators said they had no evidence Faye was kidnapped. Still, they hadn't ruled out the possibility that she might have been abducted or that she might have walked away from her home or been harmed by someone she knew.

A video released by officials Wednesday showed Faye wearing a backpack and a black t-shirt with the word “peace” on it as she stood from her school bus seat Monday. She appears to turn back and possibly speak to the driver before stepping off and meeting her mother. Faye’s mother told police she walked with her daughter to their house and that Faye grabbed a snack before heading outside to play around 3:45 p.m.

She told police that she hadn’t seen Faye since then.

Authorities shut down the neighborhood Wednesday to everyone except residents, police and people who had business to conduct in the area. Police said they were investigating hundreds of tips.

At a community prayer vigil Tuesday night, Faye’s grandmother said her family didn’t know what happened to the 6-year-old, but that they were trying to stay positive.

“I want my baby back,” Ruth Collins said. “We gotta find her.”

Other parents in the neighborhood told WSOC-TV that only four kids get off the bus at the same stop as Faye and that they saw her Monday.

“We’re worried of course, very distraught, but we’re only thinking positive thoughts,” Collins said.

Faye lived with her mother, according to WSOC-TV. Authorities said her family, including her father and her mother's boyfriend, has been cooperating with investigators.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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