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Death of missing SC 6-year-old Faye Swetlik under investigation

Faye Swetlik was reported missing this week after coming home from school in Cayce, South Carolina.
Credit: Cayce DPS
Faye Swetlik

CAYCE, S.C. — Cayce Department of Public Safety officers will give a new update Friday on the investigation into the death of Faye Swetlik, the Cayce girl who was missing for several days.

A news conference has been scheduled for 11:45 AM. WLTX will have coverage of the event online and on-air. 

Cayce Department of Public Safety Chief Byron Snellgrove announced Thursday that Swetlik had been found dead, and officers said the body of an adult male has also been recovered.

His voice trembling, Snellgrove said at a news conference, "it is with extremely heavy hearts we announce we have found the body of Faye Marie Swetlik."

Snellgrove added that the coroner confirmed the child's identity. He did not say where the child's remains were discovered. 

Coroner Margaret Fisher later said the child was found in the neighborhood around 11 a.m. An autopsy will be performed on her on Saturday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. 

RELATED: Faye Swetlik was 'bubbly, energetic, loved dresses'

Authorities are treating this as a homicide, but no arrests have been made, according to Snellgrove.  

He also announced another discovery: a man was found dead in the neighborhood as well. At this time, the investigation into that death is just beginning.

RELATED: Timeline: What led to Faye Swelik's disappearance, death

Snellgrove described the whole investigation as "fluid," although he added that there is no danger to the community. 

Cayce DPS is still asking for information that can help the investigation. That tip line is (803) 205-4444.

Video: Police Chief Announces Faye Swetlik has died

Snellgrove then left the news conference without taking any reporter questions. 

LIVE: Continuing coverage of the death of Faye Swetlik

Springdale Elementary School, where Faye went to school, sent the following recording home to students and parents after the announcement: 

"We know how hard something like this is even for adults to understand,"  it said. "In general, after something like this children need to know that they are safe and their home is safe.  Remember too that children look to the adults in their lives and watch how they handle grief and loss and take their ques from you in difficult situations like this  If you do discuss the death, use very simple language and ideas as death is a very concept for young children to grasp,   listed below are a few general strategies you may choose to use to talk with your child about death.  Give honest brief explanation’s, avoid over answering questions   keep responses at the child’s level of understanding.  Listen and hug.  Use a calm reassuring voice.  Avoid forcing the discussion.  Remind children that it is natural and acceptable to show emotion when someone we loves dies.  If you are worried about how your child is doing please do not hesitate to call our school We are here to support your student through this." 

RELATED: School sends note to parents on how to talk about Faye Swetlik's death

The Previous Investigation: 

Three hours before the announcement of Swetlik's death, Cayce DPS Sgt. Evan Antley spoke, saying the agency was leaving "no stone unturned." 

Late Wednesday night, officers released a video which included several pictures of two vehicles. One was an SUV, which was identified, was a silver sedan. He'd said the vehicle occupant may have had information relating to the investigation. 

Credit: WLTX

Swetlik was last seen around 3:44 p.m. Monday while playing in her front yard at Londonderry Lane in Cayce just off Highway 302 in the Churchill Heights neighborhood. Snellgrove said Tuesday that the little girl's mother was home at the time of the disappearance. 

Antley called the search the largest investigation he's ever been a part of, and involves his agency working hand in hand with the FBI and SLED. He added that they'd gathered a lot of video.  

"We've gone to every door, talked to every homeowner, we're following up on every house that we have missed," Antley said.

People who don't live in the neighborhood were being held out.

Sgt. Antley said they had towed vehicles, but could not give any additional information about what was inside those cars. He also confirmed they'd looked in trash cans, trucks and did send investigators to a landfill off Edmund Highway, but said that's all part of being thorough.

RELATED: Photo shows missing SC girl getting off school bus

RELATED: FBI joins search for missing 6-year-old SC girl

Investigators said Faye rode the bus home from school and got off near her home. During their investigation, officers released a video taken from a bus surveillance camera of the moment when the little girl got off the vehicle. 

Watch the Video Below:

The search area was expanded out past the initial one-mile radius, stretching almost to Interstate 26.

More than 250 officers were part of the search, going door to door, speaking to neighbors and searching the family home. Snellgrove said he invited the FBI to join the search, and they are actively participating in the search.  

Antley said they had a systematic way of doing things and that's why bringing in volunteers would have been counterproductive to collecting evidence. 

'I Want My Baby Back'" The Family Speaks Out:

Faye's grandmother, Ruth Collins, spoke out after a prayer vigil on her granddaughter's disappearance Tuesday

"I want my baby back," Collins said. "We've got to find her."

Collins attended the prayer vigil with other family members and close friends.

RELATED: Family of missing Cayce child speaks out following prayer vigil

"We're worried of course, very distraught, but we have to keep thinking of positive thoughts," says Monica Foutz, a friend of the family. "We have to keep thinking that they're going to find her. We're just waiting on them to do it."

WLTX's sister station WCNC Charlotte went to Faye’s father’s home in Rowan County Tuesday afternoon. His girlfriend, who considers herself Faye’s stepmother, said they last saw Faye around Christmas time, but they were actually planning to visit her in Cayce, South Carolina this weekend.The girlfriend said they are hoping anyone with video surveillance will provide it to police, adding they also hope anyone with information will call the special tip line for the case.

Who was Faye? 

Swetlik was a first-grader at Springdale Elementary School. Snellgrove talked Tuesday little bit about the kind of girl Swetlik was.

"Faye is a bubbly, energetic," he said at the time. "Faye's teacher loves her, Faye's SRO loves her, Faye's classmates love her. When she walks into a room she brightens it up. Everybody loves Faye."  

Snellgrove said the girl loved dresses, fancy shoes, spending time with her family, cats, and playing outside.

Foutz and Collins said Faye liked to collect rocks, play outside and take selfies with her family and friends.

"She's fun, bubbly,  loves to color, always has a smile on her face and the prettiest blue eyes you've ever seen," says the family friend. "A smile that would melt your heart."

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