Girl's Body Found; Sex Offender Charged With Kidnapping

11-year-old Sarah Foxwell was last seen Wednesday wearing Christmas-tree pajamas

ByABC News
December 25, 2009, 1:35 PM

Dec. 25, 2009— -- Police found the body today of an 11-year-old girl who was snatched from her Wicomico County, Md., bedroom Wednesday night, allegedly by a registered sex offender who is already under arrest in her disappearance.

Thomas J. Leggs Jr., 30, is charged with burglary and with kidnapping Sarah H. Foxwell, according to Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

At a news conference late this afternoon, Lewis announced that Sarah's body had been found at approximately 4 p.m., but gave few other details.

Thousands of people turned out on Christmas morning to help investigators search for the girl, police said.

Leggs was seen entering the girl's bedroom late Wednesday night by her 6-year-old sister, who described the kidnapper down to the color of his shoes, police said.

"Sarah's sister provided a complete description down to the color of his sneakers, jeans and jacket," Lewis told "When we apprehended Lewis in his family home, he was wearing the same exact clothing the sister described."

Local, state and federal investigators used dive teams to scour a lake, and also brought in sniffer dogs and helicopters. The most recent focus of their search was a 3-mile square area in Wicomico County, near the Delaware border.

Police even asked local residents to search their own "land, wooded areas, and leased parcels for hunting" and then tie a red ribbon on the mail boxes to indicate the property had been searched.

Leggs, a registered sex offender in Maryland and Delaware, "has been very uncooperative since the investigation was initiated," Lewis said earlier today.

The Maryland registry lists him as a child sex offender, but does not details his crimes.

Leggs was a former boyfriend of Foxwell's aunt, the girl's legal guardian and the owner of the home from which she was allegedly kidnapped. He was being held at the Wicomico County Detention Center without bail.

"She was not in her room the next morning," Lewis said. "There were no signs of forced entry."

When Sarah disappeared, the brown-haired, blue-eyed girl was wearing red fuzzy pajama bottoms with Christmas trees on them and a pink John Deere T-shirt.