Police have just discovered the body of Faye Marie Swetlik, the 6-year-old girl who had been missing for the past three days, as reported by WIS TV.
The disappearance of the young first grader has touched the nation since the beginning of the week.
Faye had been reported missing at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, after she disappeared from her home’s front yard in Cayce, South Carolina. The child was last seen at 3:45 p.m. while playing outside. The family searched for the young girl for about an hour before phoning police.
Authorities said her body had been found in the Churchill Heights neighborhood near an unidentified man’s remains, and the case is now being looked into as a homicide.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we’re announcing we have found the body, that the coroner has identified as Faye Marie Swetlik,” Byron Snellgrove, the Cayce Director of Public Safety, said in a press conference earlier on Thursday.
The police have not yet released information on how they believe the child died, nor did they have any indication of who the deceased man was.
“That investigation has just begun,” Snellgrove said of the unidentified man. No arrests have been made.
Though there are many questions at the center of this investigation, the Director of Public Safety said he does not feel like there is imminent danger to the community, which is located just outside of South Carolina’s capital city, Columbia.
The heartbreaking news follows an intensive three-day search in which hundreds of officers from several surrounding police agencies, including the FBI, had joined. Over 250 officers had joined within the first 72 hours alone and were doing door-to-door searches and analyzing over hundreds of hours of video footage.
Initially, police did not think the disappearance was the result of a kidnapping, but are now prioritizing the case as a potential murder. They were most recently investigating the drivers of two vehicles unfamiliar to Churchill neighborhood residents, who were in the area around the time of Faye’s disappearance, per Fox News.
A video was released on Wednesday night by the Cayce Department of Public Safety showing the two vehicles. One was a silver sedan and the other looked to be a Chevy Trailblazer SUV. As of Thursday, the SUV has been identified, but the search for the sedan is still ongoing.
Police asserted that an Amber Alert was not issued because they did have not have direct evidence that the child was abducted, but the FBI did tweet about the missing child.
The heartbreaking discovery of Faye’s body follows reports of another child, 13-year-old Amberly Flores, who went missing a few weeks ago in Pelham, Alabama. The young girl was eventually found safe and sound, per The Inquisitr.