Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) - Faye Marie Swetlik, 6, of Cayce went missing Monday afternoon just before 4:00 p.m. This is according to officials with the Cayce Department of Public Safety.
Swetlik, who attends the 1st grade at nearby Springdale Elementary School, was last seen about 3:44 p.m. Monday when getting off the school bus. She went missing from the area of Londonderry Lane in the Churchill Heights neighborhood just off Airport Boulevard. This is the neighborhood of small homes that wraps around the NAPA and several other industrial type businesses east of the highway that leads to the main entrance of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
Family members say that Swetlik has strawberry blonde hair, blue eyes, and a thin build. She was last seen wearing boots with polka dots and a black t-shirt.
Captain Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department was assisting Cayce officers in coordinating the media’s response. Myrick said that Swetik did get off the school bus near her house Monday afternoon. From that point forward, Myrick said officers didn’t want to speculate what might have happened to the little girl because they just didn’t know.
The area behind the neighborhood can be very thick at points. It’s bounded on one side by Interstate 26 and on the front side by busy Airport Boulevard. It’s behind the neighborhood where the land becomes the most difficult to move through and search. That area has a railroad track running across it toward the town of South Congaree or back toward Cayce and West Columbia. There’s also a small creek in the area. The land is covered by thick briars and brush where one could easily become entangled. Eventually, if one could walk completely through the brushy area, they’d come out in the heavily industrialized area off Old Dunbar Road betweeen the interstate and Edmund Highway.
At one point Monday night, officers from Cayce were being assisted by personnel from multiple Lexington County fire stations, other law enforcement agencies, and personnel from Lexington County's EMS were on stand-by. They were trying to walk through the area performing a line search. There were as many as 90 people actively searching at one point according to the police.
Chief Byron Snellgrove of the Cayce Department of Public Safety said they were hoping someone would spot the little girl and call them with her location. Their dispatch number is (803) 794-0456. You can also dial 911.
We will keep you updated as more information on the child’s disappearance becomes available.