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Missing National Guardsman’s body found

Missing National Guardsman’s body found

via:wbaltv11

 

Officials have found the body of a missing National Guardsman who disappeared after Sunday’s flooding in Ellicott City, a Howard County spokesperson told 11 News.

Officials said a man’s body was found Tuesday in the Patapsco River just across the Baltimore County line.

A county spokesperson confirmed to 11 News that the body is that of Maryland National Guard Sgt. Eddison Hermond, 39, of Severn, who was reported missing around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

“On behalf of Howard County residents, we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Eddison Hermond. Make no doubt about it, Mr. Hermond is a hero who put the lives of others before his own,” Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said.

As his body was taken from the area, two police officers honored him with a salute.

Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement, saying: “We are deeply saddened to learn that the body of Maryland Army National Guard Sgt. Eddison Hermond has been found. There are no words to adequately describe our sense of loss. He was a man who dedicated his life in service to others, both in the Air Force and the Maryland National Guard, and again on Sunday night as he bravely risked his life to assist a fellow citizen during the flooding in Ellicott City. Our heartfelt prayers go out to Sergeant Hermond’s family and loved ones.”

Hermond disappeared Sunday evening as massive rain led to severe flooding. According to witnesses, the guardsman had been eating with friends at La Palapa restaurant when he attempted to help Kate Bowman, who had escaped through a window with her cat, but the rushing water swept him away.

Bowman, who owns Clipper’s Canine Cafe, said Hermond was stepping into the torrent to help save her and her flooded business as the water continued to rise.

“He was trying to save me,” Bowman said. “I’m heartbroken for his family. I can’t imagine what they were going through.”

Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner said Monday that Hermond was holding a door to keep water out of the restaurant before he tried to help Bowman.

“A lady approached and indicated she was trying to find her cat, who was missing behind the building, lot D. He, along with some other folks, went back to assist her during that effort. They saw him go under the water and not surface,” Gardner said.

“When I heard what happened, I just knew as soldiers we just react. 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,” Staff Sgt. Shawn Gates said.

“When (I found) out, my heart sank even further. He was trying to help someone, and in that effort, lost his life,” said Howard County Councilman Jon Weinstein, who represents Ellicott City.

“When somebody is in need of help, he would help. And if he did it 1,000 times, he would do the same thing 1,000 times,” Gates said.

Family and friends described Hermond as courageous, dependable and well-respected.

“To even think that this could happen to him after just recently seeing him is tough for me. He was one of those guys I could always go to talk to,” Gates said.

Hermond is a California native who made Maryland his home.

Hermond’s family issued the following statement:

“This is a very trying time for the Hermond, Cooper and extended family, but the thoughtful gestures of so many has given us strength. We want to thank you for your prayers, calls, and texts. Thank you to the crews who were tireless in their efforts to find Eddison, namely the National Guard, local government agencies, Amber Gray, Bobby Barker, Victoria Gastro Pub, La Palapa, friends, and even strangers who helped. To all the wonderful people we met that did not know him who searched for him. We thank God for you!

“We are overcome with grief, but we are also comforted by his courage, his strength, and his selflessness to help someone else in a deadly storm.

“Eddison was a bright light in our family. We are confident that his light will shine on.

“Please continue to keep his friends and family in your prayers.”

You can donate to the family’s GoFundMe page

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Bilal Ali

May 29th, 2018

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