Sheriff: Body of missing Maryland girl found

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - The body of a Maryland girl who
authorities say was abducted by a registered sex offender was found
Friday after thousands of volunteers fanned out to look for her.
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said that the body of
11-year-old Sarah H. Foxwell was discovered at about 4 p.m. near
the Delaware state line. He offered few other details. Thomas J.
Leggs Jr., 30, has been charged in her kidnapping.
Leggs is a former boyfriend of the girl's aunt, who is her legal
guardian. A public defender representing him has not returned a
phone call.
Thousands of volunteers gathered in Salisbury to help in the
search Friday.
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 says 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 says.
The statement of probable cause also says Sarah's aunt, Amy
Fothergill, with whom Sarah lives, noticed that Sarah's green
toothbrush was missing from the home. Deputies 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 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 sex offense in Wicomico
County and was charged Oct. 29 with fourth-degree burglary.
In 2001, Leggs was convicted in Delaware of rape for having sex
with a victim who was 16 or 17, according to the Delaware registry.
The registry describes his risk level as "high" and notes he is
unemployed.
Leggs, who has been convicted of assault several times, also is
awaiting trial on charges of burglary and destruction of property
in Ocean City.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-12-25-09 1834EST


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