CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - With so many questions left unanswered, those who knew Faye Swetlik, lived in her community or were touched by her story came together to grieve Saturday morning in West Columbia.
“It really warmed my heart that somebody could come together for all this. Because honestly I feel they don’t need to be alone because this is so devastating,” said Michelle Acevedo, a friend of Faye’s grandmother.
This was just one of the many vigils that happened just a couple days after the search for a missing girl turned into a homicide investigation.
As more than 30 mourners lit candles in Faye’s honor, Acevedo said warmth and light describe Faye.
“That feeling of somebody wrapping their arms around you -- that’s a Faye feeling,” she said.
Acevedo describes Faye’s grandmother, Ruth Collins, as a selfless person with, “a heart as big as the United States.”
Now, Acevedo says she is trying to be there for the family who she says supported her through her own losses and hard times.
She said Faye inherited her family’s giving spirit.
“Faye always wanted to help too. If there was something that needed to be done, Faye wanted to be a part of it,” Acevedo said. “I’m happy to see how the community has came together with all this.”
Acevado said she will always remember Faye for her warmth and kindness, and she said those who never even met the little girl should do the same.
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“Remember her as the pictures of her smiling that you see -- because that is Faye,” she said. “I’ve never heard Faye cry, I’ve never seen her sad, I’ve never seen her mad, only happy and smiling all the time.”
She said if Faye knew you, she was hugging you, touching others with a heart of gold she carried everywhere she went.