Faye Swetlik autopsy cause of death by asphyxiation after neighbor Coty Scott Taylor abducted & killed her then slit own throat three days later.
The girl who disappeared from her front yard three days earlier, was killed by her neighbor, 30-year-old man, Coty Scott Taylor who acted as the ‘sole perpetrator.’
Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the autopsy showed Swetlik’s death as a homicide and the cause of death determined to be by asphyxiation by strangulation.
Swetlik died just a few hours after Taylor, abducted her and then committed suicide. His body was found in the house next door to the victim’s family home.
Investigators found DNA evidence at Taylor’s home and where Faye’s body was found that linked Taylor to her death WPDE reports.
‘The loss of Faye, an innocent child, who was simply playing in her own yard… has been extremely difficult to all of us,’ Fisher said.
The girl’s body turned up in a wooded area in her neighborhood. Officials have not released information about the condition of her body out of respect for her family.
Taylor had cooperated w/ investigators up to his death:
The girl got off a school bus mid Monday afternoon, Feb 10 and was last seen playing in her front around just on 3.45pm before seemingly vanishing. More than 200 officers from multiple law enforcement agencies searched over three days for Swetlik, knocking on doors and setting up roadblocks to question people who came in and out of the neighborhood.
Cayce Department of Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said investigators found a child’s polka-dot boot and a soup ladle filled with fresh dirt in Taylor’s trash Thursday.
That evidence led them to find the girl’s body in woods that had been searched previously. Within minutes of finding Swetlik’s body, investigators said they found Taylor dead inside his home.
Snellgrove said the two cases were linked. Fisher later released Taylor’s autopsy results saying the 30 year old neighbor died by suicide from an ‘incised wound to the neck.’
It is thought Taylor took his own life soon after notice of his alleged victim’s body being discovered on Thursday. Investigators say Taylor strangled his six year old victim, hours after being abducted.
In the three days between Swetlik’s kidnapping and her body being found, investigators spoke with Taylor, who let them search his home.
Nothing in his home suggested that the girl was ever there, Snellgrove said during a Tuesday press conference.
‘He was cooperative and gave consent to agents to look through the house. Those agents did not see anything that alerted them to believe he had knowledge or was in any way involved in Faye’s disappearance at that time,’ Snellgrove told reporters.
Asked if investigators knew where the child was during that time, Snellgrove said: ‘we do not know at this time.’
Swetlik’s death has shocked Cayce, a small city of about 13,000 in the suburbs of the state’s capital city, Columbia. Several prayer vigils took place while she was missing and after her body was found. It remained unclear whether Taylor sexually violated his victim and what led to the man targeting his infant victim. Investigators told of Taylor not having a prior criminal record and the man not knowing his victim or her family.
A report via the State cited Coty Taylor as having been an honor student at Bluffton High School who later went on to briefly attend the University of South Carolina.
Taylor later worked as a manager of a local Jimmy John’s restaurant until 2015, corporate officials from the company’s human resources office in Raleigh confirmed Friday.
A public memorial for Faye is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce.