Blood belonging to missing 15-year-old cheerleader Gabrielle “Gabbiee” Swainson was found in her bedroom, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said a press conference Friday afternoon.
“We found her blood on her bed and also somewhere else in her bedroom,” Sheriff Lott told HLN’s Nancy Grace. “There’s no reason for her blood to be present like that.”
Gabbiee was last seen alive in the early morning hours of August 18. Police told HLN Gabbiee’s mother, Elvia Swainson, told them she left the home around 3:45 a.m. that morning to catch up on paperwork at her office. When she returned home around 7:30 a.m. she said her daughter was nowhere to be found.
Last week police announced Freddie Grant, a local handyman and family friend, was arrested and charged with one count of kidnapping in connection with Gabbiee’s disappearance. At a press conference Friday, investigators said they found Gabbiee’s DNA on a piece of duct tape located in a junk yard near Grant’s home.
“Grant forcibly took the 15-year-old from her home, without permission or consent of her mother, and drove her to his home,” police said in a news release.
Gabbiee’s DNA was found in Grant’s home and phone records placed her cell phone there immediately following her disappearance, according to authorities. They also said there was clear evidence of foul play.
“There was no forced entry into Gabrielle’s home,” police said in the news release. “Gabrielle left the home barefoot and in her pajamas.”
HLN reached out to Fielding Pringle, Grant’s attorney, but she refused to comment. Sheriff Lott said Grant continues to be “completely uncooperative in finding Gabrielle.”
Local and federal law enforcement are considering additional charges against Grant including charges connected to the September 3, 2011 disappearance of a 28-year-old Florida woman who was last seen with Grant, police said in the news release. However, Grant has not been named a suspect in the case.
Grant remains behind bars at the Lexington County Detention Center without bond.
As investigators continue to search for Gabbiee, they said they are seeking information from anyone who may have seen Grant’s light blue 1992 Ford Escort in the early morning hours of August 18.
Police are also asking the public’s help in finding Gabbiee’s pink and black pajamas she was wearing the morning she was abducted.
Grant’s attorney said she wants a gag order on the case, WIS-TV reported.
“As long as I’m allowed to, I will talk about it. I’ll talk about the facts,” Sheriff Lott stated. “I’ll talk about my description of him as being a monster, and that he holds the key to finding Gabbiee.”
The sheriff has asked anyone who may have hired Grant for landscaping or handyman work to call the department’s criminal investigations unit at (803) 576-3187.
Gabbiee is described as a black female with black hair and brown eyes. She is 5’2” tall, and weighs 115 lbs. Anyone with information is urged to call the tipline at 1-888-CRIME-SC. There is a $6,000 reward.