A critical piece of evidence found in a neighbour's bin led investigators to the body of a missing six-year-old girl – before the neighbour was found dead himself.
Police confirmed they'd found the body of schoolgirl Faye Marie Swetlik on Thursday, three days after she went missing in South Carolina, US.
Just moments after finding her body, a neighbour was also found dead. He has today been identified by authorities as 30-year-old Coty Scott Taylor.
A spokesman for the Cayce Department of Public Safety told media it was a critical piece of evidence – found in a trash can belonging to Coty's property – which led investigators to find Faye's body.
Faye's body was found in a wooded area while Coty's body was found in his residence – which was just 100-150 feet away from Faye's house, the press conference heard.
Authorities were asked in the press conference: "Had you searched Mr Taylor's home before law enforcement found him?"
"We had talked to Mr Taylor, we had been inside his home," the spokesman for Cayce Department of Public Safety replied.
He said "evidence in our investigation links these two" deaths, but did not say how.
There are no suspects at this time, no arrests have been made and police say they are "not seeking any persons of interest at this time".
Sgt Evan Antley for Cayce Department of Public Safety said in the press conference today that the community will have noticed investigators and agents in the neighbourhood of Churchill Heights.
He said: "What we were doing was entering trash cans and looking to see what came out.
"As part of that search we located a critical item of evidence related to our investigation of bringing Faye Swetlik home.
"Based on that discovery, we narrowed down an area that we felt as an investigative team we needed to go back to and look for more evidence. "
He said that during that search, the body of Faye Marie Swetlik was located .
"Based on preliminary information that we received from the coroners office, we believe that Faye had not been in that location for a very long time at all, Sgt Evan Antley continued.
"A short time later, just moments after locating Faye Marie Swetlik we located a deceased male. "
Authorities described him as a Caucasian male, and said they won't have any evidence on his cause of death until an autopsy is concluded on Saturday.
"I can confirm that he was a neighbour, but he was not a neighbour, he was not a friend," Mr Antley said.
He said there is no reason to believe there is an active threat to the community.
"This has been a tragic situation for our community, for our department and for everyone who has been following the story. "
He added: "We want to thank that neighbourhood. We went in there and turned their lives upside down.
"We made them late for work, we searched their homes and we invaded their privacy but we did it for a reason and we had a goal.
"This is not the outcome we wanted but this is where we are and our work continues to bring justice for Faye."
He confirmed the "critical piece of evidence" was found "in a trash can" of an address "which is the residence of Coty Taylor".
Mr Taylor "has no criminal history and he was not known to law enforcement."
Mr Antley said: "This has been a horrible situation for our community and our department.
"Yesterday was a tough day, possibly the toughest day of many of our working careers."
Police thanked the public for their tips, and the community 'whose homes they searched and whose privacy they invaded'.
They said their work continues "to bring justice for Faye" and their investigation remains open.
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