Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced at a press conference Wednesday that they now have an answer to how the missing teen Gabbiee Swainson was taken from her home.
Deputies have charged 52-year-old Freddie Grant with kidnapping the 15-year-old. Lott says investigators have now found a key to the Swainson home in Grant’s house.
“This key opens the door to Gabbiee’s house. That’s the key that we confirmed that we believed he entered in Gabbiee’s house that morning and took her with this key. That explains why there was no forced entry. She probably was not awakened. He just used this key enter her house and go to her bedroom,” says Lott.
Gabrielle’s mother told police that she and Grant were in a relationship during the time of Gabbiee’s disappearance. She also says Grant was given the key to her house because he was doing floor work, but she never got the key back.
“About six weeks ago he told Gabbiee’s mother that he had lost the key,” says Lott.
Lott says investigators also found duct tape with Gabbiee’s DNA on it inside Grant’s home, along with other evidence.
“There was lots of evidence that we were able to get from his home, from his vehicles, and as time goes on our lab is processing that evidence,” says Lott.
Lott says for now, he is working under the belief that Gabbiee is alive. He says even with the amount of time that has gone by, he will continue searching for the teen.
Freddie Grant is still not cooperating with police, but Lott believes he knows that Grant is the person responsible for Gabbiee’s disappearance.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report.