Hundreds Attend Memorial Service for Sarah Foxwell - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Brie Jackson, Steve Dorsey and Kye Parsons

Hundreds Attend Memorial Service for Sarah Foxwell

Updated:
Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury on Saturday morning to mourn the loss of 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell, shown above. (Photo: WBOC) Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury on Saturday morning to mourn the loss of 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell, shown above. (Photo: WBOC)
Sarah Haley Foxwell Sarah Haley Foxwell
Dozens of police officers also attended Saturday's memorial service for Sarah. The event took place at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury. (Photo: Kye Parsons/WBOC) Dozens of police officers also attended Saturday's memorial service for Sarah. The event took place at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury. (Photo: Kye Parsons/WBOC)
Another view of Emmanuel Wesleyan Church during Saturday's memorial service for Sarah. (Photo: Kye Parsons/WBOC) Another view of Emmanuel Wesleyan Church during Saturday's memorial service for Sarah. (Photo: Kye Parsons/WBOC)
A candlelight vigil was held for Sarah on Friday night at the Salisbury City Park. (Photo: WBOC) A candlelight vigil was held for Sarah on Friday night at the Salisbury City Park. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- Nearly 1,000 people gathered at Emmanuel Wesleyan Church in Salisbury on Saturday morning to mourn the loss of 11-year-old Sarah Haley Foxwell. Her tragic story left many people on Delmarva devastated.

Sarah was reported missing from her Salisbury home on Dec. 23. Her body was found in a wooded area near the Maryland-Delaware line on Christmas Day. Police have ruled her death a homicide.

Those who attended Saturday's memorial service said the community continues to lean on each other for support during this difficult time.

"It's an overwhelming pain you wonder how this could happen," said Stephanie Seegen. "I just think that we need to come together and lean on each other and look to God for support."

Boards were placed in front of the church for mourners to write their thoughts and prayers. One woman wrote, "May God wrap his arms around you." Many people still cannot imagine how young Sarah could have lost her life in such a tragic way.

"May God watch over Sarah," said Rachal Deere. "She'll be one of his angels."

A flower arrangement shaped like a music note served as a reminder of the sixth grader who loved to sing. The emotional service brought some families closer.

"I'm feeling sad I can understand what her friend and her mom said during the service," said 9-year-old Kristen Gittings. "Because I know my mom loves me unconditionally and I know it would break her heart if anything happened to me."

"Sarah came into out heart on Christmas day and the days before," said Lillian Gittings, Kristin's mom. "Even though we didn't get to know Sarah, we will always have a part of her."

Organizers say the boards from the memorial service will be given to Sarah's family.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis was one of the first people to speak at the memorial service. 

"My prayer for you family will find peace in knowing that God has chosen little Sarah to be one of his most precious angels, be assured that we are by your side now and forever more," Lewis said.

Wicomico County State's Attorney Davis Ruark spoke about the legacy Sarah leaves behind.  He said, "Sarah's legacy continues on because Sarah will leave behind 'Sarah's Law' in place in at least two different states, if not across the nation, that will protect other children."

The night before the memorial service, hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil held at the Salisbury City Park to remember Sarah.

"I'm here because my heart goes out for the parents," said Tanya Thorle, a parent who attended the vigil. "I don't know what I would do if it happened to me. My heart bleeds for them."

People lit candles in remembrance of Sarah. Some people spoke out on the tragedy, calling for justice.

Police have charged 30-year-old Thomas James Leggs, Jr., in connection with Sarah's disappearance but have not charged him with her death.  Leggs is a registered sex offender in both Maryland and Delaware.

He is currently being held without bond at the Wicomico County Detention Center. Leggs' public defender said his client denies hurting Foxwell.

Sarah's family held a private funeral and burial on Thursday.

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