Melissa Anne Lehew, 34, was trying to save someone’s life when she lost her own.
A civilian found the body of the 34-year-old from Darlington, Md., on Monday in the waters in which she went missing, according to a news release from the Maryland State Police.
Lehew had been missing since Friday when she and her boyfriend, Kyle Bowman, were trying to help a driver in Churchville, Md, amid extreme storms that resulted in flooding and road closures.
When Lehew and Bowman noticed a car submerged in rushing water, Lehew asked Bowman to pull over so she could help the driver.
Bowman said that once they got out, the water rose rapidly, and they lost their grip on the rope they had tied to his truck in an attempt to save the other driver. At this point, Lehew fell, and though Bowman tried to pull her up, the tide was too strong, and she was washed away.
“I was trying to pull her up, and she just couldn’t hold on, and I couldn’t hold on to her, and it just swept her away, and she was just gone down the river,” Bowman told WBAL-TV.
Unfortunately, the man they were trying to save didn’t survive the flooding, either. The body of the driver, 67-year-old Daniel Samis, was later found by Maryland State Police.
Although investigators searched for Lehew over the weekend, Bowman knew it was unlikely that his girlfriend would be found alive. He said he wants to keep the mother of four’s legacy of altruism alive.
“I just hope she’s remembered as a great woman who would help anyone and just a really selfless person.”
Her Facebook profile is filled with photos of her children. Lehew’s friends have shared their feelings about her on the site in her memory.
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