CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - Hundreds are expected to gather to celebrate the life of six-year-old, Faye Swetlik, Feb. 21. The public memorial service is happening at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce Friday evening.
This tragedy continues to touch many throughout the community and that includes people of all ages. Children are also learning how to cope with the death of Faye.
She was reported missing shortly after returning home from school on the afternoon of Monday, February 10. Days-long search efforts eventually led authorities to a wooded area of the Churchill Heights neighborhood where Faye lived with her mother. Her body was found Thursday morning, shortly before police also discovered the body of 30-year-old, Coty Taylor, Faye’s neighbor and the man police say is responsible for abducting and killing Faye, who died of suffocation. Taylor committed suicide.
Now, the community is working to keep Faye’s bright and bubbly personality at the forefront.
Children taking part in the after-school program with the Art Smart Academy in Irmo have been cleaning a pile of donated rocks in Faye’s honor.
This weekend, the academy is hosting a free event where anyone can stop by and paint multiple rocks anytime during business hours between Friday and Sunday.
You can then contribute a rock to the rock garden in the works for Faye at the academy and also take a rock with you to hide throughout your community, for others to find and share in Faye’s memory.
“We had a conversation with our after-school kids about the importance of what we’re doing, who Faye is and was in her community and how loved she is and so they just immediately jumped right on board with wanting to help, " Katherine Fix, Art Smart Academy owner said.
"They wanted to clean and prep the rocks and dry the rocks and then they’re also going to be painting some of their own rocks to be hiding in the community, as well.”
Participants will also leave a painted handprint on one large rock, which will serve as the centerpiece for a rock garden in the works for Faye at the academy because of her love for rocks.
“She would collect rocks and paint rocks and her and her grandmother came into our studio before, too. They had actually been here before, and that’s why we really wanted to get on board to help do some community healing for this event,” Fix said.
It’s just one example of the many ways community members have stepped in to offer their support to Faye’s family.
Faye Swetlik’s funeral services have been covered by the Caughman Harman Funeral Home in Lexington.
Multiple motorcycle groups have volunteered to escort the family with a special motorcade to the service, where hundreds are expected to say goodbye to a little girl known for her bubbly and bright personality. It’s why Friday’s public memorial service will be child-friendly, involving many of the activities that Faye enjoyed like drawing and coloring.
Faye’s family is asking that you wear her favorite colors, pink and purple, to the service.
Friday’s public memorial service at Trinity Baptist Church begins at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. The service will be streamed live at www.wistv.com.
Organizers suggest arriving early. Trinity Baptist Church can hold a little more than 1,200 people for this service, but with the continued outpouring of support for Faye, it’s possible that even more people could show up.