Howard County Police confirmed Tuesday the body of a missing national guardsman swept away in Sunday’s Ellicott City flood was that of 39-year-old Eddison Hermond.
Days after searching for the man considered to be a hero, search crews found his body.
“My best friend, we go outside,” Joseph Lopez said who was with Hermond at a birthday dinner on Sunday. “There’s a lady with a cat. Against everyone’s advice, she takes off and my friend tries to help her and so he gets in the current and the parking lot kind of became a small river.”
Lopez says Hermond was swept away by the rushing current.
“She’s handing him the cat and he’s taking it and as he steps into that water. He just slips and the current takes him into the river,” he said.
Hermond joined the Air Force in 1996 and served on active duty for 10 years. In 2009, he joined the Maryland Army National Guard.
Officials say no other people have been reported missing after Sunday’s flood.
Hermond's family sent a statement to ABC News saying:
"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."