8 deaths in 4 days emotionally draining for Lexington County coroner

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher

From Thursday to Sunday was a deadly four days in Lexington County. In that time period, the office of Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher reported eight deaths of not natural causes. That number includes the death of Faye Marie Swetlik, age 6. Besides the tragic saga of Faye Swetlik, there were six road-related fatalities in Lexington County.

“It was all hands on deck for my office,” said Fisher of the the period from Feb. 13-16. We have such a small staff and we are always extremely busy with our natural deaths and our recent increases in overdoses and suicides. Handling a national news story with two deaths such was the case with precious Faye Swetlik was overwhelming enough. But then our traffic accidents just kept happening.”

Byron Snellgrove, director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, announced the sad and dreaded news that the body of six-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik had been found, Thursday. Fisher later said little Faye’s body was found about 11 a.m. She had been missing from her front yard in Churchhill Heights, Cayce, since Monday afternoon. Fisher said the pace has been demanding.

“Our office is mentally and physically tired,” she said. “No one has had a day off since Thursday. Also the types of deaths we are handling are ‘high stress’ cases. The Swetlik case as well as unexpected deaths such as accidents and homicides are heartbreaking and the notifications to loved ones left behind are emotionally draining.”

“But through all of this, my staff has been amazing. No one has grumbled a word,” said Fisher. “Everyone stepped up and handled the families we have served with the same compassion and dignity they always practice. They are always honored to answer the call. And no one would have ever known that they were sleep deprived and broken-hearted. I’m extremely proud of all of my staff and all of the first responders that worked countless hours this past week.”

Snellgrove also said at the Thursday pres conference, that a male’s body was also found dead. His death is related to Faye’s death. That male was was later identified by Fisher as Coty Scott Taylor, 30. of 602 Piccadilly Square. 
After autopsies Saturday, the cause of Faye’s death, and Taylor’s, is scheduled to be disclosed at a press conference Tuesday.

“We all worked tirelessly to bring Faye Marie Swetlik home safe to her family,” said Fisher. “We are devastated that the outcome was so tragic. God bless Faye Marie Swetlik, her family, friends, her teachers and classmates.” 

There were six highway fatalities from Feb. 13-16, too.

A fatal crash took the life of Mr. Steven E. Spires Sr., 55, of Gilbert. It occurred around 9:10 p.m., Wednesday, in Gilbert on Peach Festival Road. Spires was taken to the hospital and died early Thursday morning.

Later Thursday, at approximately 11:45 a.m., Ms. Pamela Adams Powell, 49, of Columbia died after a tree fell on her vehicle on Interstate 20 westbound, in Lexington County, Thursday.

Two more people were killed on Interstate 26 westbound, in Lexington County, near exit 119, at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
According to Fisher, Mr. James G. Hoff, 78, and Mrs. Terri Lee Hoff, 75, both of Fenton, MO, were pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple traumatic injuries. Their vehicle, driven by Mr. Hoff, struck the rear of a box truck that was stopped due to traffic.

Fisher identified Mr. Barron Lorel Adams, 19, of Gaston as the individual who died in a vehicle accident that occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m., Friday. It occurred on U.S. 321 near Woodtrail Drive in Gaston.

According to Fisher, Adams was traveling southbound when his vehicle left the right side of the road and struck a utility pole. Adams was pronounced dead at the scene due to his injuries. 
Ms. Jamee Green, 24, of Columbia was killed when the 2012 Buick LaCrosse she was driving was hit on I-26 East early Sunday morning, according to Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Fisher said Ms. Green was pronounced dead at the scene due to her injuries.

The fatal collision occurred around 2:10 a.m. near mile marker 113 on I-26 eastbound, about a quarter-mile west of Cayce. The incident involved two tractor-trailers and the 2012 Buick LaCrosse. All were traveling in the eastbound lane.


  1. Well that’s the job you chose to do! You knew what it was all about before you were elected. Nobody likes to deal with the death of a loved one, but that’s your job. Stop wining about it!

  2. My son, Ross Millwood, passed away on february 7 from complications of the flu. He was 35 and had gotten a flu shot.

  3. We’ve come together as a community to pray and grieve for a little Faye and her family.
    It’s hard to imagine what the Corners Office and Margaret Fisher have gone through in the last week. What I have experienced is this office taking good care of my daughter and our family during her murder investigation.
    They came to our home several times to talk to us about the progress they were making in the details of her death.
    They had to inform us that they needed to keep her her remains longer. Margaret said in the kindest way that our daughter was still talking to them, giving them information about her horrific death. They did this with love, compassion and most of all respect for our daughter.
    Join me in praying for Margaret and her team as they serve our community and all that have lost a loved one.
    Jenny Kennedy

  4. Thank you, Margaret Fisher and your staff for your care and compassion. Thank goodness Lexington County has you!

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