Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – During Wednesday’s 11:45 a.m. press briefing regarding the case of missing 6 year-old Faye Swetlic, First Sgt. Evan Antley, a spokesman for the Cayce Department of Public Safety, said that officers were expanding their search parameters slightly but would still focus on the Churchill Heights area. Antley said that searching would continue intensely within a one-mile radius of the neighborhood, but officials would also be looking a bit more toward the east in the area closer to Charleston Highway (Hwy. 321 s).
At that same briefing, Antley said officials were seeking the public’s help locating two vehicles. Officials didn’t describe them as suspect vehicles or label them in any other fashion. They’ve simply said locating them may assist in their investigation. One appears to be a midsize silver or gray SUV and the other, a smaller, silver or gray sedan. Both appear to have been caught on someone’s surveillance footage coming out the neighborhood and turning onto Airport Boulevard toward I-26. If you have information about the two vehicles, you’re asked to call the Hotline at (803) 205-4444.
This area that officers are moving their search into has already been gone over once; however, it is extremely challenging terrain. It’s bounded on all sides by dangerous roads, I-26, creeks, and industrial areas.
Dan Hansen, a businessman that grew up in the Churchill Heights neighborhood where his mother still lives today said Wednesday, “There are hundreds of trails back in those woods.” He said that as a boy, he and his friends had crisscrossed the trails and he knew them well. “There are some that go straight up to the interstate fencing (I-26) and others back toward the railroad tracks. In some places, it’s so thick you can’t imagine a rabbit getting through and in others, if you knew the trails, you could move fast and come out in a totally different spot.” Hansen also said there were easy routes to the railroad trestle and at one spot, the train’s tracks could get you to the opposite side of I-26 without ever crossing pavement. “As a kid, it was a great place to play,” he said. “For a missing young girl, I’m sure it would be terrifying.”
The area can also be very wet as small streams and creeks flow across it. The large land tract extends back toward Old Dunbar Road and there’s a substantial creek on one side. Hansen said, “I could show you a spot where there’s a beautiful waterfall back there that few even know exist.”
Law enforcement officials continue to ask that people stay out of the area unless they live there. Sgt, Antley said there’s nothing to see and sightseers simply made their work more difficult. He also thanked the public for their willingness to assist in the search but said at this time, the searchers have had special training in exactly what to look for and what to do with anything they might run across that’s considered evidence. “What we really need most from the public is prayer,” he concluded.
The next press briefing is scheduled for Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:45 a.m. Officials have planned one daily in the parking lot of Trinity Baptist Church on Charleston Highway at that same time. There will be no other updates unless some breaking development requires a special one.