CAYCE, SC (WCSC/WIS/AP) - Officials say they have not found evidence of an abduction in the search for a missing 6-year-old girl who vanished Monday afternoon.
More than 250 police officers, family members and volunteers have been searching for a missing 6-year-old girl who vanished more than 24 hours ago.
Faye Marie Swetlik was reported missing by her family at approximately 5 p.m. Monday after investigators said they realized they had lost track of her. She had last been seen playing in her yard at approximately 3:45 p.m.
“I mean, if you think about it, if you’re a parent, you’re going to go out and look for your child in the neighborhood,” Chief Byron Snellgrove, the director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “Then when you realize you can’t find them, you’re going to call .”
The last time Swetlik was seen, she was wearing a black shirt with the word Peace across the front of it, he said. Authorities say she was also wearing a floral print skirt and polka dot rain boots. Swetlik has strawberry blonde hair that is near shoulder length and blue eyes. She’s 3-foot-10-inches tall and weighs about 65 pounds. Officials said she has a speech impediment and is lactose intolerant.
Snellgrove said her mother was home at the time the child vanished.
FBI agents also assisted authorities in the search. Agents were spotted checking the back porch of the home where the child lives with her mother.
“We’ve all been gathered here for one thing today, and that’s to find Faye,” Snellgrove said. “We invited the FBI. Any missing child is extremely important to us as well as the FBI. They already had agents in the area. They came and started assisting us almost immediately.”
Snellgrove said the child’s mother, her mother’s boyfriend and the child’s father have all been cooperating with investigators.
Snellgrove urged residents to hold on to a hotline number set up to accept leads in Swetlik’s disappearance. That number is 803-205-4444.
“[The hotline] has been extremely effective, we’ve gotten a lot of leads in,” Snellgrove said. “I think we sent out about 50 today but we received about 75.”
He also asked any residents of the Churchill Heights neighborhood where she vanished to call if they have any surveillance footage from security or doorbell cameras.
“We have found some surveillance footage that has helped us," Snellgrove said. “We’re also following up with every lead that we get and we’re going to go until it’s exhausted.”
A flyer from the Cayce Department of Public Safety said they contacted all known relatives of the child, who have all said they have not seen her since she was reported missing.