ELLICOTT CITY, Md. -- The National Guardman who was swept away by flood waters in Ellicott City, Maryland was found dead Tuesday in the Patapsco River, Howard County Police said. He has been identified as Eddison Alexander Hermond, of Severn, Maryland.
“Make no doubt about it, Mr. Hermond is a hero who put the lives of others before his own,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman Tuesday afternoon.
Officials said Hermond was standing in the doorway of a restaurant trying to get inside away from the water when he saw a woman who needed help.
The woman told WUSA9 she was trying to leave pet store Clippers Canine Café on Main Street when she got stranded. Hermond heard her calls for help while she was holding the store’s resident cat.
Hermond went into the flood water to try to help her, but he went under.
The woman was holding out hope that he would be found alive, her boyfriend told WUSA9.
"There are no words to adequately describe our sense of loss," Maryand Gov. Larry Hogan said on Twitter. He described Hermond as a man who dedicated his life to helping others.
"He was a man who dedicated his life in service to others, in the Air Force & MD National Guard, & 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 Sgt. Hermond's family & loved ones," Gov. Hogan tweeted.
“Guardsman often and always put public service first, way beyond the call of duty, and that’s exactly what Mr. Hermond did,” Kittleman said.
Along with members of the Howard County Fire and Rescue, National Guard members searched Tuesday morning for their missing brother. They found him about a mile away from the bridge at the bottom of Main Street.
Hermond’s body was removed from the river, draped in a flag, the fire chief said.
“He saw somebody in need, didn’t think about himself and went to bring aid. And we as a county will be forever grateful to him,” Kittleman said.