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Candlelight vigil, memorial service announced for Faye Swetlik

Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – Few can remember a time that anything has rocked the state and especially Lexington County as much as the killing of Faye Marie Swetlik. After she went missing but before her little body was found, parents were extra vigilant as their children went about their days. A young girl was missing, and little ones were confused when they could only play in the yard where they could be closely watched every second if they could go out at all. Children struggled to grasp their parent’s tears, the tight hugs, the extra displays of love as the adults in their lives seemed to be just a few steps away, watching closely every second. Parents tried to explain the circumstances, but how does anyone tell a child that such evil exist in their world?

Now that Faye’s been found, the people of Cayce, Lexington County and South Carolina need closure too. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and as quickly as they can, reporters will relay the details of what investigators now know about this heinous act. Hopefully, officials will be able to offer an answer to the burning question in everyone’s minds, why?

Tuesday night, the public will have the opportunity to participate in a candlelight vigil in Cayce as a part of the healing process. There has already been an impromptu gathering last weekend attended by a huge crowd. They gathered at the entrance to the quiet neighborhood Faye’s family called home and prayed, cried, and quietly talked.

At Tuesday evening's vigil, candles will be handed out. Starting at 5:30 p.m. on the City Hall’s front lawn, people will once again mourn a little girl few of them even knew. Still, to many, Faye was our child and a time to grieve is in needed. The City Hall is located at 1800 12th Street. This vigil will last 30 minutes.

A public memorial service for Faye will then be held this Friday. That event will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. This church opened its doors offering everything they had to law enforcement and support for Faye’s family and the community as all this unfolded over the last week. Trinity is located at 2003 Charleston Highway in Cayce. Expect a huge crowd and get there early as space may be challenged even in this large of a building.

In memory and honor of Faye, her family is asking those who plan to attend to wear brightly colored clothes. She liked the bright colors and her family says pink and purple, so appropriate for a little girl, were her favorites.

Later, her family will have a private service. Caughman Harman on North Lake is handling all the arrangements for that which has been paid for by someone. At that service, the public should stay away from the area and let Faye’s family begin to heal in their own way.

Experts say you need to explain the grieving and need for it to your children. Telling them a watered-down story, making it less than it is, none of that will help. A child has been killed by someone we still don't know much about. Be honest with your child and explain this tragedy and why it’s hurt you, your family, and the community so much.

Psychologists say you should maintain your child's routines. Sure, you will and should watch your child closely, but they still need that outside time to be what they are, children. Breaking their routine would be just another reminder that this senseless tragedy occurred.

As time slowly passes, some normality will return; that’s the closure everyone seeks. Normality may come back to our lives, but this community will never forget Faye Marie Swetlik, how young and beautiful she was, and how quickly she was taken from all of us.

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