Missing teen Gabrielle Swainsons blood and hair were stuck to used duct tape found in the home of the man charged with kidnapping her, Sheriff Leon Lott said Friday.
Investigators found blood in Gabrielles bedroom in her home on Tamara Way in Northeast Richland after she was reported missing, Lott said. And, more used duct tape with Gabrielles blood on it was discovered in a former auto junkyard near the suspects house in Elgin.
That junkyard was the focus of an intensive search on Tuesday that brought Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers to the scene. But Gabrielle was not at the junkyard, Lott said.
Lott earlier had revealed the existence of bloody duct tape in the vicinity of the suspects home. The fact the tape was found in his home is a new revelation in the case.
Gabrielle, 15, has not been found after 14 days of searching. She was last seen wearing pink and black pajamas as she was sleeping at her mothers house on Tamara Way in Northeast Richland. She was abducted sometime between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. Aug. 18.
Meanwhile Friday, the defense attorney for the man accused of kidnapping Gabrielle Swainson has asked a judge to impose a gag order in the case, saying it is necessary to protect her clients right to a fair trial.
On Friday, Lott shrugged off the threat of silence and spoke at a press conference to update the media on the search and the case he is building against Freddie Grant, the 52-year-old Elgin man charged with abducting her. In press conferences this week, Lott described Grant as a monster and a career criminal.
Grants attorney, Fielding Pringle, has declined comment in the case.
But in her motion filed Thursday at the Richland County courthouse, she asked a judge to prohibit extra-judicial statements. She said 136 news articles on the Swainson case can be found online and she is gathering those stories to build her case for the gag order. She also said she was collecting comments posted by the public on those online news stories.
They are the best reflection of the prejudice the Defendant is suffering by the continued dissemination of information in direct conflict with these rules of professional conduct, Pringle wrote.
But Lott said he was not concerned with any suffering on Grants behalf.
What I would like to say is Im really broke up about his suffering, but I wont, Lott said. What I will say is Gabbiee may be suffering somewhere out there.
Grant became an early suspect in the case when he refused to answer questions from the moment investigators first approached him, Lott said. Grant was involved with Gabrielles mother, Elvia Swainson, and police first approached him for routine questioning.
Grant was arrested Sunday on a federal weapons violation after investigators found ammunition in his house on Kelly Street in Elgin. He was not allowed to have the ammo because he has a prior conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, according to federal court records.
A county warrant was issued Monday for Grants arrest on a kidnapping charge, but Grant has not been served with the warrant. He is being held on the federal charges at the Lexington County Detention Center.
Grant also has been named as a person of interest in two other law enforcement investigations.
Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown is looking into Grants connection to Dianna Laster, who was 28 when she was reported missing in March. She had lived with Grant, and he is believed to be one of the last people to have seen her, Brown said.
And Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said Grant is a person of interest in an unsolved homicide in October. In that case, 36-year-old Daniel Lee Wood was shot while standing in a front yard of a Lugoff home. Matthews has not said how Grant and Wood may have known each other.