DOVER, Del. – A judge ordered a convicted sex offender held without bond Monday on charges he kidnapped an 11-year-old Maryland girl whose body was found on Christmas Day.
After the hearing in Salisbury, Md., Thomas J. Leggs Jr. was returned to the Wicomico County Detention Center, where he has been held since his arrest.
Sarah Haley Foxwell was taken last Tuesday from the Salisbury home where she lived with her aunt, Amy Fothergill, who had recently dated Leggs, according to court records. The girl's body was found Christmas Day in Maryland near the Delaware line after a search that involved thousands of volunteers.
Leggs, who has convictions for sex offenses in Maryland and Delaware, will face a preliminary hearing Jan. 21 on charges of kidnapping and burglary. He has not been charged in Sarah's death. Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said Leggs will face additional charges but he did not elaborate.
A public defender representing Leggs did not immediately return telephone messages Monday.
Prosecutor Davis Ruark said details from an autopsy report likely will be withheld, but the cause of death may be disclosed. Neither he nor Lewis would confirm media reports that Foxwell's body was burned.
Since Foxwell's disappearance and killing, law enforcement officials in Maryland and Delaware have received reports that Leggs may have committed other crimes, Ruark said. He would not elaborate, but law enforcement officials scheduled a news conference Monday afternoon to ask for the public's help in investigating such reports.
A woman who answered the phone Monday at Fothergill's home said the family did not want to speak to reporters.
According to Department of Correction records, Leggs, 30, was jailed in Delaware from February 2001 to July 2001 after being charged with fourth-degree rape for having sex with a teenager who was not yet 18.
According to Maryland court records, a warrant listing Leggs as a fugitive from Delaware was issued in February 2005. Despite his status as a "high risk" offender, Leggs' information on the Delaware sex offender registry had not been verified since March 2005, a month after his arrest on the fugitive warrant.
Leggs also has a lengthy arrest record in Maryland, where he was convicted of third-degree sex offense involving a child in March 1998. He was convicted of assault in 2000 in a case that also involved several sexual offense charges and was subject to a probation violation hearing in 2006.
Leggs was acquitted of assault and sexual offense charges in 2005 but was scheduled to go on trial next month in Worcester County, Md., on charges of burglary and destruction of property.