'I want my baby back': Family prays for return of missing 6-year-old South Carolina girl Faye Swetlik

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Community, police search for missing 6-year-old girl
Several agencies, along with family and neighbors, are looking for Faye Marie Swetlik after she went missing on Monday.

CAYCE, S.C. -- Emotions ran high Tuesday in a South Carolina community as the search for a missing 6-year-old girl expanded.

Faye Marie Swetlik went missing Monday after getting off the school bus. Her disappearance is weighing heavy on the minds of the town of Cayce, which is located a few miles south of Columbia.

WATCH: Video of missing South Carolina girl on school bus day she disappeared

Wednesday, law enforcement officials locked down the neighborhood and said anyone who did not live there or wasn't there on official business, like delivering mail, would not be allowed in the area. Investigators said the lockdown would allow them to narrow their focus and cut down traffic in the neighborhood.

More than 200 police officers, family members and community volunteers were part of the search for Swetlik, who was last seen playing in the yard of her home shortly after getting off the school bus.

Wednesday, police released video of Swetlik on the school bus just before she got off. They hope by releasing the images, people will be able to recognize the girl's outfit.

Neighbors said only four kids get off the bus near Swetlik's home and confirmed they saw the 6-year-old Monday. By 3:45 p.m., her family couldn't find her.

Around 5 p.m., police were called. Swetlik lives with her mother, who was home when she disappeared. Swetlik's mother, father and her mother's boyfriend are cooperating with the investigation.

They released the following statement to ABC News:

"Faye is a bubbly and happy little girl. She always wants to play and have fun. She's not the type of kid that will up and walk away. Her mom was very attentive in watching Faye. Faye pays attention to her surroundings. Her grandmother is very distraught about what has happened because they are very close. We just want to find Faye and bring her home."

A prayer vigil was held Tuesday night.

"A lot of prayer -- we're worried, of course, very distraught," said family friend Monica Foutz. "But we're only thinking positive thoughts."

"I want my baby back," said Faye's grandmother, Ruth Collins. "We gotta find her."

An Amber Alert has not been issued, but also not yet ruled out. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety said there are no signs showing that Faye's disappearance could be an abduction, which is one of the things law enforcement looks for before issuing an Amber Alert.

Swetlik has been entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person.

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