CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - Classmates showed their love for Faye Swetlik by making heartfelt Valentine’s Day cards for her -- this before the tragic announcement that she was found dead not far from where she disappeared.
The cards were made by some of her friends who were in the first grade with her at Springdale Elementary.
Some of the cards wished Faye a Happy Valentine’s Day, while most wished for her safe return and expressed how much they missed her.
Faye disappeared from her yard in Cayce on Feb. 10 and was found dead Thursday.
Her family reported her missing at 5 p.m., saying they had last seen her at 3:45 p.m.
Thursday around 11 a.m., police found Faye’s body somewhere in her neighborhood. The Lexington County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy will be performed on Feb. 15.
Officers have launched a homicide investigation related to her death but did not share how she died.
The Cayce Department of Public Safety, the Lexington County Coroner’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating.
Police also said the body of a deceased male was found in the same neighborhood, and an investigation has started in that case. They did not, however, directly relate the cases at this time. That person has not been identified.
Thursday, Lexington School District Two released the following statement regarding Faye’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.”
The school also sent a letter to families, written by Springdale Elementary Principal Hope Vrana.
Dear Springdale Families:
We have some heart-breaking news to share. Faye Swetlik, a first-grader who has been the subject of media reports this week and an intensive search effort, has passed away.
We contacted you earlier this week, to share with you some of the efforts here at school to support our students and staff. That support will be more important than ever in coming days, as our community grieves the loss of this little girl. Our goal here at Springdale is to listen and to reassure our students and to keep the school day as normal as we possibly can during this difficult time.
We will have extra district and school counselors on hand in coming days, talking with students, teachers and staff. They will be available to meet one-on-one with your child should the need arise.
We know how hard something like this is even for adults to understand. We are sending home some general tips about how you can talk with your child about this.
If you are worried about how your child is doing, please do not hesitate to contact our school. We are here to support your students through this.