Police find body of child missing since Wednesday
On Friday afternoon, three days after Sarah Foxwell was last seen at her home, law enforcement found her body near the Delaware state line. Investigators were working yesterday to determine how she died.
"This is not the way we wanted to find our young lady on Christmas, but at the very least, we've given closure to the family," Wicomico County State's Attorney Davis Ruark said at a news conference.
Ruark said yesterday that an autopsy was being conducted, but he did not expect a cause of death to be released immediately. He added that investigators were working yesterday but said any new charges would likely come after an investigation is complete.
The focus of the investigation now is on Thomas J. Leggs Jr., 30, who was charged Wednesday in Sarah's kidnapping.
"There's no indication of involvement of any other individuals at this point," Ruark told The Associated Press.
Leggs is a former boyfriend of the girl's aunt, who is her legal guardian. A public defender representing him has not returned phone calls, and a woman who answered the door at Leggs' parents' house declined to speak to a reporter.
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said the body was found in the northern part of the county, where authorities had focused their search.
Lewis said Sarah was last seen Tuesday night at her home on Maryland's Eastern Shore. A relative discovered she was missing early Wednesday while checking on Sarah and her 6-year-old sister. A charging document said Leggs was the last person seen with Sarah.
A "juvenile witness" awoke during the night Tuesday and saw Sarah leave the bedroom with "Tommy," and said he was wearing blue jeans, an orange jacket and white sneakers, the charging document said.
Sarah lived with her aunt, Amy Fothergill, who told police the child's toothbrush was missing from the home, according to the statement of probable cause.
Deputies said they found a green toothbrush and a lollipop in a truck Leggs admitted driving. Leggs said he had been wearing jeans and white sneakers the previous night - the same clothes he was wearing when police questioned him.
The sheriff said Thursday that Leggs has been uncooperative and "of no assistance to our investigators."
Leggs is listed on the Maryland and Delaware sex offender registries.
The Maryland listing notes that he is a child sex offender but does not give details about his conviction.
Lewis said Leggs has been convicted of a sex offense in Wicomico County and was charged Oct. 29 with fourth-degree burglary.
In 2001, Leggs was convicted in Delaware of rape involving a victim who was 16 or 17, according to the Delaware registry. The registry describes his risk level as "high."