Surveillance footage and documents released regarding the murder of Faye Swetlik

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Published: Jul. 3, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Cayce Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released new information regarding the movements of suspect Coty Taylor in the days before Faye Swetlik’s body was found.

The information was shared in response to multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by media outlets, including WIS.

Cayce DPS Director Byron Snellgrove says the newly released documents and surveillance footage support and justify his agency’s handling of the investigation that concluded Coty Taylor was the sole perpetrator in the murder of 6-year-old Faye Swetlik.

“No one wants to relive this case,” Snellgrove said. “It is my hope that this legal step, which we are required to take will be final and then it will provide the closure that the family...deserves.”

Newly-released surveillance footage shows:

  • February 11-12 -- One of many grid searches in the Churchill Heights neighborhood.
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  • February 13, approx. 1 a.m. -- A light in the woods, believed to be from Taylor.
  • February 13, approx. 7:10 a.m. -- Taylor seen at Walmart wearing a dark colored hoodie and buying potting soil and garden supplies. He then left Walmart in a ride-share vehicle and returned to the Churchill Heights neighborhood.
  • February 13, 7:24 a.m. -- Dark hooded figure comes from the area of Taylor’s apartment carrying a bag that looks to be the potting soil purchased from Walmart. The person dumps the soil onto an area at the edge of the woods and spreads it out, then walks back in the direction of Taylor’s apartment.
  • February 13, 10:33 a.m. -- Snellgrove discovers Faye’s body in a shallow grave covered with a dark potting-type soil. Snellgrove stays at the scene and calls for backup.
  • February 13, approx. 10:41 a.m. -- Officers arrive and construct a tent to preserve evidence.

Snellgrove says he was led to search the wooded area because of evidence found within trash cans near Taylor’s residence. Evidence found included a soup ladle with fresh dirt in it and Faye’s rain boot.

New information released in documents includes an interview between law enforcement and Taylor’s former roommate. The unnamed roommate stated there was an odd smell in their home during the time Faye was missing.

RELATED | New incriminating evidence against man accused of kidnapping, killing Faye Swetlik released

He said he thought Taylor had tried to cover up the smell of marijuana with a cheap air freshener, but he said Taylor had never attempted to cover the smell before. In hindsight, the roommate believed Taylor was attempting to conceal “the smell,” the report states.

The former roommate said he did not have anything to do with Faye’s disappearance or murder, nor with the death of Taylor.

“Coty Taylor acted alone when he abducted and murdered Faye Swetlik on February 10 of 2020. There is no new theory and our conclusions are still the same as it was last year,” said Snellgrove.

Cayce DPS says that all evidence and facts lead to Taylor as the sole perpetrator. The case has been closed.

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