CAYCE, SC (FOX Carolina) – Police said search teams looking for six-year-old Faye Swetlik made a grim discovery on Thursday afternoon.
The child was found dead, police said during a news conference just after 2 p.m. The Lexington County coroner confirmed Faye was found around 11 a.m. An autopsu at MUSC in Charleston will be conducted on February 15.
Cayce Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said Faye's death was ruled a homicide.
Snellgrove said a deceased male was also found in the Churchill Heights neighborhood where Faye went missing. He said that death investigation is just beginning.
Snellgrove did not take any questions during the news conferenceand did not say if the two deaths are connected.
Police began searching for Faye on Monday afternoon. She went missing sometime after getting off her school bus in the Churchill Heights Community.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers have spent the days since combing the community for any signs of the child.
Faye's grandmother, Ruth Collins, released this heartbreaking video of the child singing shortly before police made the announcement.
Collins said she and Faye would sing "You are my sunshine" together every day.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, people began leaving flowers in front of the sign for the Churchill Heights sign as a makeshift memorial for Faye.
Faye was a first grade student at Springdale Elementary.
Lexington County School District 2 released this statement about the child's death:
We are heart-broken with news of the death of Faye Swetlik, a first-grade student at Springdale Elementary, who went missing earlier this week. When the school community experiences a tragedy like the loss of a child, it deeply affects all of us.
Below please find information we sent to our families this afternoon. We will not have further public comment or interviews in coming days, as we focus on supporting our Springdale students, faculty and staff.
We thank all of the law enforcement agencies that have worked tirelessly this week to bring Faye home. As this investigation is ongoing, we ask anyone who might have information that would help law enforcement to call the hotline at 803-205-4444.
We ask everyone as well to please keep Faye and those closest to her in your thoughts.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham also took to Twitter to express his sympathy:
Like all South Carolinians, I was heartbroken to hear the news about the death of Faye Swetlik. I pray for the family of this beautiful young girl as they deal with this horrific tragedy.
Additional details will be forthcoming.