Lott to update on "very complex" investigation into teen's disappearance

Gabrielle Swainson has been missing since August 18.
Gabrielle Swainson has been missing since August 18.
Elvia Swainson
Elvia Swainson

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Sheriff Leon Lott says state, local, and federal officials continue to work diligently to locate missing teen Gabbiee Swainson.

Meanwhile, Gabbiee's mother, Elvia Swainson, is holding out hope that her only child will be found safe.

Swainson said late Tuesday that she is upset, but is not giving up on her daughter.

"In this time, in this moment, it's gotten a little harder for me and I am still staying strong through God that's the only person that's helping me stay strong," said Swainson.

The 15-year-old disappeared from their Tamara Way home during the early morning hours of August 18 during a 3-4 hour period when she left the home to get some work done.

Authorities said Tuesday morning that 52-year-old Freddie Grant, a man who did yard work for the family, had been arrested and charged with kidnapping. Forensic evidence shows he took Gabbiee from the home and took her to his house in Elgin, investigators said.

Grant was Swainson's boyfriend, according to authorities. Grant's sister said the two had an "on again, off again" relationship.

Swainson would not take any questions about the arrest of Freddie Grant, but said over the phone Tuesday night that she is focused on her faith and finding her daughter.

"There's nothing impossible for God, number one," said Swainson. "Number two, everyone needs to continue to believe that she is going to walk through my door soon. Very soon. That is my expectation."

Meanwhile Richland County deputies and federal agents continue to comb the Elgin area following up on leads in the case.

Hundreds of officers spent most of Tuesday searching.

But they did not actively search the area Wednesday.  Investigators removed the crime tape from around Grant's home.

Investigators are in the lab now processing evidence they found Tuesday. Deputies are following up on tips and conducting more interviews.

Swainson is using her time to spread the word about Gabbiee's case. She says she's grateful to the community for its support and to law enforcement for dedicating resources to help find Gabbiee.

Meanwhile, Grant moved to waive his right for a hearing on an ammunition charge that he was booked for when arrested on the kidnapping charge. Grant also consented to be held without bond until further court proceedings.

If you know anything about Gabbiee Swainson's disappearance, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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