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Gabrielle Swainson Update: Suspect in S.C. teen's disappearance leads authorities to body

Gabrielle Swainson
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(CBS) COLUMBIA, S.C. - A man accused of kidnapping Columbia, S.C. teen Gabrielle Swainson last year has been charged with her murder after leading authorities to her body Thursday.

PICTURES: Body of missing S.C. teen found

Freddie Grant, 53, was being held in the Richland County jail on Friday on a charge of murder.

On Thursday, Grant led officers to the body of 15-year-old Gabrielle, which was recovered about 9 p.m. near Elgin in Kershaw County, Sheriff Leon Lott said.

According to CBS affiliate WLTX, the teen's body was found in a field about three miles from Grant's home. After excavating the site for several hours, officers reportedly removed Gabrielle's body from a five-foot deep grave.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts and Sheriff Lott said additional testing will be done on the body to determine a cause of death, the station reports.

Gabrielle's mother last saw her daughter at their home on August 18, 2012. Authorities have said Grant dated the teen's mother, Elvia Swainson, and used a key he claimed to have lost to enter the family's home and take the girl from her bed as she slept.

Blood was found in Gabrielle's room, and authorities found Gabrielle's blood on duct tape near Grant's home.

Gabrielle's body was found after officers went to a federal prison in Kentucky where Grant -- already previously convicted of a felony -- has been serving a 17-year sentence for illegal possession of ammunition, Lott said.

Grant has been appealing that conviction. He cooperated with Richland County authorities after his 27-year-old daughter, Dominique Grant, was arrested last month on charges of helping her father hide the missing teen's cell phone, Lott said.

Lott says the area where Gabrielle Swainson's body was found had been searched previously.

Complete coverage of the Gabrielle Swainson case on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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