Lott: This Key Opened the Door to Gabbiee Swainson's Home

6:18 PM, Sep 5, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Lott: This Key Opened Gabbiee's Home

  • Gabbiee Swainson
  • Sheriff Leon Lott holds up a key he says was used to gain access to Gabbiee Swainson's home.

Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Sheriff Leon Lott says he can now say how the man accused of kidnapping Gabbiee Swainson got in the home.

Lott updated the investigation into the disappearance of the 15-year-old at a Wednesday morning news conference.

Freddie Grant, 52, is charged with taking Swainson early on the morning of August 18th.

Since Grant's arrest, Lott said that Grant got into the home overnight without forced entry. Now, however, Lott said his officers have found the key they believe Grant used to get inside the home.

According to Lott, Grant had been given the key months earlier by Gabbiee's mom so he could do flooring work in the home. He'd told the mother, though, that he'd lost the key.

Lott said Wednesday that when investigators entered Grant's home, they found key on a ring hanging on a door right inside Grant's home.

Lott did say Grant and the girl's mother were dating, but that Grant was not living inside the home. According to the sheriff, they'd first dated almost five years ago, but the mother had broken off the relationship. However, around October of last year, Grant came back into her life.

October, it turns out, is one month after 29-year-old Adriana Laster was last seen. Grant's been listed as a person of interest in her disappearance. Previous Coverage: Missing Woman's Sister Says She was Scared of Grant

"I don't believe that's just a coincidence," Lott said. 

Lott also gave a little more detail about the evidence collected in the case, some of which was found in the Swainson home, some which was found in Grant's home, and more that was collected in a lot near Grant's property.

Lott said the blood found in Gabbiee's room was on her bed, and was "visible." He said there is more DNA evidence, but declined to classify what investigators recovered.

Despite some of the evidence recovered, Lott said just because her blood and hair was found, Lott says that doesn't mean she's not alive.

"This is a recovery effort to bring her home," Lott said. ""She hasn't given up hope, and I haven't either."

Anyone with information in the case should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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