Sheriff: Suspect had key to missing Columbia teen's home

Published: Sep. 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM EDT
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Gabbiee Swainson (Source: Facebook)
Gabbiee Swainson (Source: Facebook)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the days pass, the details about what may have happened to 15-year-old Gabrielle Swainson continue to trickle into the public.

A day after speaking to Nancy Grace on her national show, Richland Sheriff Leon Lott spoke to the local media about the case Wednesday.

Lott said one of the questions many people have been asking is how 52-year-old Freddie Grant allegedly got into the Swainson home. The sheriff said that mystery was solved Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators found a key in Grant's home that opens the door to Elvia Swainson's home.

Lott said Swainson gave Grant the key several weeks ago when he was doing some flooring work in the home. According to the sheriff, Grant told Swainson that he lost the key. That was a lie, Lott said.

The sheriff said he still believes Gabbiee is alive. "Our priority at this point is to find her, " said Lott. We're still looking for Gabbiee. "We have not found her."

Swainson has been missing since August 18. She vanished during a 3-4 hour period when her mother Elvia was at work.

The focus of the investigation into her disappearance remains on Grant. He is in custody, but not talking to investigators, Lott said.

Gabbiee's blood was found on her bed and on duct tape in Grant's home, according to investigators.

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

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