The body of a National Guardsman washed away by a flash flood while helping a woman with a cat was found Tuesday in Maryland’s Patapsco River, according to authorities.
Eddison Hermond was last seen alive early Sunday evening near La Palapa Grill & Cantina. Witnesses said he’d been trying to help a woman who escaped a nearby building with her cat when he was swept up in the flood waters.
An acquaintance reported him missing a short time later, around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Officials on Tuesday announced they’d discovered a body in the Patapsco River just across the Baltimore County line and quickly identified it as the 39-year-old Air Force Veteran and National Guard sergeant.
“When I heard what happened, I just knew as soldiers we just react,” Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner told WCVB.
“We don’t think, and at that time, he reacted. It wasn’t about the water. He knew somebody needed help, and he knew he would be the one to go out there and give it his best.”
Authorities said Hermond is the only person who was reported missing amid the severe weather, which slammed Historic Elliot City with heavy rainfall and then flash flooding.
Portions of street were ripped from the ground and dozens of cars parked in the historic downtown were swept away.
Simon Cotres, owner of La Palapa, said his restaurant took on about a foot of water, but he’s determined to recover in honor of Hermond.
“I feel like it’s our duty to make sure that we rebuild and open back up,” he said.