RICHLAND COUNTY, SC
The mother of a missing Northeast Richland teenager said she has written letters to her daughters accused kidnapper asking for a meeting with him.
Im still waiting to get a response, said Elvia Swainson, whose daughter Gabrielle has been missing since Aug. 18.
Swainson managed to hold back tears Friday afternoon as she explained how her sole purpose is to find her missing daughter.
Swainson joined Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott for a press conference aimed at keeping her daughter in the publics mind. Gabrielle, who goes by Gabbiee, would have been a sophomore at Ridge View High School, where she had been enrolled in the schools bio-science program and on the cheerleading squad.
Lott said his investigators continue building their case against Grant, who is in jail on a federal ammunition charge filed after deputies searched his house.
Meanwhile, investigators have confirmed that DNA belonging to Grant and Gabbiee was found on a roll of duct tape in Grants Elgin home, Lott said. Already, Lott had announced that investigators had found pieces of duct tape with Gabbiees blood and hair on it in Grants home and in a nearby junk yard.
Finding her DNA and his DNA together is very significant, Lott said.
Gabbiee disappeared in the early morning hours of Aug. 18 after her mother left for work. The sheriffs department and FBI conducted an intense manhunt the week after the girl went missing but did not find her. They continue to follow leads and tips from the public as they search for Gabbiee, Lott said.
Even though you may not hear us talk about it as much as when it first happened, its never far from our minds or our hearts, Lott said.
Grant, who had dated Elvia Swainson , helped in the early search for Gabbiee, and at one point his phone number was on a missing person flier as a family contact. But Lott said he quickly became a suspect after he refused to talk to investigators.
Grant, 52, is being held without bond in the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting trial on a federal ammunition charge. The sheriffs department has not served an arrest warrant on the kidnapping charge.
Authorities have placed a detainer on Grant so that, should he be released from federal custody, he will be transferred to Richland Countys Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on the kidnapping charge.
Fielding Pringle, the Richland County public defender who is representing Grant on the kidnapping charge, declined comment Friday.
Grant was charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition in August after investigators said they found .38-caliber bullets and shotgun shells in his Elgin home while executing a search warrant. Grant is not allowed to have weapons or ammo because he has a prior felony conviction for distributing cocaine.
Earlier this week, Grants attorneys filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Columbia asking that bond be set. His attorney on the ammunition charge, John Delgado, said the federal government does not have reason to hold him without bond.
Prosecutors filed a response saying that Grant is a flight risk because he is a suspect in the disappearance of Swainson and Adrianna Diana Laster, a 28-year-old who was last seen around Labor Day 2011. Laster previously was Grants girlfriend. Their motion also cited Grants criminal history, which includes convictions for kidnapping, assault, resisting arrest, and criminal domestic violence, the court documents said.
On Friday, Swainson appeared to have lost weight since her daughter disappeared. She said the past 11 weeks have been difficult, but she holds hope that her daughter will be found alive. She said she has been encouraged by her faith in God and the outpouring of community support.
Its hard to be in my house this long, day after day, wondering how shes doing, Swainson said.
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.