Howard County police say searchers have found the body of a National Guardsman in the Patapsco River, two days after he went missing while assisting with rescue efforts during a devastating flash flood.
The department said via Facebook that it confirmed the body was that of Sgt. Eddison Alexander Hermond, a 39-year-old Maryland Army National Guard member from Severn who was reported missing Monday afternoon. After the flood began, Hermond was assisting merchant Kate Bowman, who had escaped through a window with her cat. He went missing outside La Palapa Grill and Cantina, the department said.
“He was trying to save me,” Bowman told The Sun. “He’s a hero.”
Rescuers had been scouring the area for Hermond in the two days since the flood. His body was found in the river “just across the Baltimore County line,” police said.
No one else was reported missing.
Meteorologists have estimated about eight inches of rain fell on the riverside Howard County town in a span of roughly three hours, which sent a wall of water crashing through Main Street. Dozens of businesses were destroyed and cars were washed away into the river.
Officials have said the storm was worse than the one that struck in July of 2016, killing two and leaving the town in need of a total rebuild. This time around, the storm washed away major pieces of the roadway.
“We put so much effort into rebuilding,” Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said, per WTOP. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
Hermond had been a member of the Maryland Army National Guard since 2009, and served in the Air Force for 10 years from 1996 to 2006, The Sun reported.