A six-year-old South Carolina girl who vanished after she got off the school bus in her neighbourhood this week has been found dead, with police now treating the case as a homicide.
Faye Marie Swetlik was getting off the bus near her Cayce home around 3.45pm on Monday when she disappeared.
Her family said they last saw her playing in the yard around that time, but at some point she vanished, according to WIS News.
They reported her missing around 5pm.
In a tragic twist today, the body of Faye was found near a "deceased male", local police said.
"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we're announcing we have found the body, that the coroner has identified as Faye Marie Swetlik," Cayce director of public safety Byron Snellgrove told reporters.
"We are now treating this case as a homicide."
Faye's body was found in her neighbourhood of Churchill Heights near the man.
"That investigation has just begun," Snellgrove said, when questioned about the dead man found near Faye.
Police declined to comment on how either of them had died.
Earlier this week, investigators said they hoped Faye had just become lost in the woods.
"It's possible she may be in the woods or at a neighbour's house, fallen in distress," Snellgrove said.
Faye's mother and father, along with the mum's boyfriend, all co-operated with investigators.
In a statement, Faye's family called her a "bubbly and happy little girl".
"She always wants to play and have fun," the family said.
"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."
Authorities towed two cars from the property where Faye lives to aid in the investigation, but did not provide further details, according to WIS.
They had received nearly 80 tips on the case and were following up on about 50 of them, reports said.