Family uses holiday to search for missing teen

Gaibbee Swainson (Source: WIS)
Gaibbee Swainson (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - While most families spent the Labor Day holiday at a picnic or spent time together, one Northeast Richland family spent the day looking for their missing 15-year-old along with the assistance of the Richland County Sheriff's Office.

"The first couple of days everybody was like looking," said Swainson family member Jeff Wylie. "We want to keep that going, observing and all of that because those things are what help us to find Gabbiee."

So Gabbiee Swainson's family again was searching this past weekend and didn't stop for the holiday.

"About 70 of us went out looking for Gabbiee," said Patsy Thompson.

They searched an area south of Elgin, but north of Gabbiee's Tamara Way home, where Freddie Grant bought his lumber supplies in Pontiac.

For some, finding Gabbiee has become a passion.

"My stomach or my heart will be beating, I need to go check this house out" said Thompson. "If I see an abandoned house, I'm going to stop and go in there and check."

We've learned initial fliers with a picture of Gabbiee had Freddie Grant's cell phone number as a contact on them. When we dialed the number, we got Freddie's voice mail, but the voice mail box is full.

Family members are asking the community to think back to two weeks ago, if they remember seeing the teen with what they call very colorful, distinctive braces.

"Gabbiee was someone who a lot of people loved and we did too," said Wylie. "So it means a lot to me that the community supports her."

Over the next week a number of events will be held in support of finding the missing teen. Tuesday, there's a vigil in the Lake Carolina subdivision and then several schools will hold events over the next week to honor Gabbiee.

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