ANDERSON, South Carolina (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Police, who are still looking for the foot of a homeless man who was slain, decapitated, and whose hands and feet were amputated, have arrested a man in connection with last week’s downtown Anderson, South Carolina murder.
On Saturday, police arrested 44-year-old Leslie Warren Sandoval who confessed to murdering Foster on Friday after a brief interview. Sandoval was charged with murder and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a violent crime, 7 On Your Side reports. He is being held in the Anderson County Detention Center.
According to Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore, on Feb. 22, two men had gone to the Yellow Cab building to board up doors and windows after receiving reports that homeless people had been occupying the building.
One of the men smelled an odor and found 53-year-old Seth Barton Foster’s badly decomposed torso in a crawlspace below the back of the building. Anderson police, investigators, officials from the coroner’s office, and forensic technicians were dispatched and quickly on the scene where they found who they described as a white male wearing a pull-over shirt with “Pendleton Baseball 2011” written on it.
Police are investigating Foster’s death as a homicide and said his body was badly beaten, he’d been decapitated, and his hands and feet had been amputated.
On Sunday police were still searching for Foster’s missing foot. While they did not find his foot, they did find a knife on the scene Saturday.
Police said last week that while they had no motive, they did not believe there was a public threat. Still the murder had left downtown Anderson rattled. Lorrie Pratt, who met Foster at a downtown salon, said, “To have that kind of a violent thing happen downtown, it does make me a little more nervous about being out late.”
On Feb. 24, police were at another crime scene where they said they found evidence connected to Foster’s death. Anderson Police Lieutenant Tony Tilley said additional evidence was found close to some railroad tracks that run underneath the area between North Main Street and Murray Avenue.
On that same day Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said he believed he knew how Foster was killed and dismembered but he didn’t want to release that information because it could hinder the investigation. Investigators are still looking for Foster’s foot. The body parts were scattered in two different locations.
Foster’s head, hands, and other foot were found inside a hollowed out archway underneath a building housing the M.J. Goodwin Law Firm in downtown Anderson. A public works crew with the City of Anderson was in the area around 9 a.m. Friday and noticed a terrible smell near the railroad tracks.
Foster’s mother, Marie Whitney, says the last time she heard from her son was around the New Year. The coroner believes Foster’s body had been in the abandoned building’s crawl space between 15 and 30 days by the time it was found.
Whitney said her son was in a troubled relationship with a woman in Belton and was living in the abandoned building. “It was totally unbelievable. Our entire family is in shock, and I am absolutely devastated. I just can’t believe that somebody would do that kind of thing to him because he was a very kind and generous person.”
Lt. Tilley said that in July 2010 another man was murdered at the same building.
Police recognized a tattoo on Foster’s body.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Follow this National Missing Persons news writer:
- Click on SUBSCRIBE link above for instant updates
- Visit my Blog
- Follow me on Facebook
- Follow me on Twitter