A 52-year-old man has been charged in the kidnapping of a missing 15-year-old girl, after investigators allegedly found her blood on a duct tape near his home.
But on Wednesday deputies still don’t know where to find Gabrielle Swainson, and hope may be diminishing that she is still alive.
On Monday, investigators charged Mr. Freddie Grant, an acquaintance who has done yard work for the family, with kidnapping Gabbiee, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Gabbiee was last seen by her mother around 4 a.m. on Aug. 18 asleep in her bed at 221 Tamara Way in Columbia, Sheriff Leon Lott said.
When her mother returned home from work several hours later, the teen was gone.
All the teen’s clothes, her purse and her cellphone charger were still in the home, deputies said.
Investigators said Mr. Grant forcibly took the 15-year-old cheerleader from her home, without permission or consent from her mother, and drove her to his home.
“DNA and cell phone records place Gabrielle at Grant’s home immediately following her disappearance and that there is clear evidence of foul play,” Sheriff Lott said.
There was no forced entry into Gabrielle’s home and the teen apparently left the home barefoot and wearing her pink pajamas.
So far, Mr. Grant refused to cooperate in finding Gabrielle, Sheriff Lott said.
More than 120 local and federal officers reportedly combed through a junkyard across from his home in Elgin on Tuesday looking for the missing teen.
“I haven’t given up hope of finding her and bringing her home. That’s what we’re operating under, that she can be found,” Sheriff Lott said. “He’s only charged with kidnapping.”
Local and federal officers are working on additional charges against Mr. Grant including charges connected to the Sept. 3, 2011 disappearance of a 28-year-old Florida girl out of Elgin, Sheriff Lott said.
Investigators said Ms. Adriana Laster, who lived with the suspect in Elgin, wasn’t reported missing until March of this year by her grandmother in Homestead, Fla., Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown told CBS News.
Mr. Grant and Ms. Laster lived together and had a troubled relationship.
Officers were called to their home several times, which resulted in an April 2011 charge of criminal domestic violence against Mr. Grant, the news station reported.
Police pressed forward with the misdemeanor charge even though Ms. Laster asked them to drop the case. Mr. Grant was convicted and paid a fine, Chief Brown said.
Mr. Grant remained in the Lexington County jail Wednesday.
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