Body of Melissa Lehew, woman missing from Harford County flood, found

The body of Melissa Lehew — the 34-year-old woman who was swept away by storm water Friday as she tried to rescue another victim — was found around 1 p.m. Monday in Harford County, according to a Maryland State Police spokesman.

Police spokesman Ron Snyder said troopers were alerted to the body Monday by a 911 call after Lehew’s friends and fellow church members began searching for her.

Police said Lehew of Darlington fell into rushing waters Friday after stopping to try to help a stranded driver, Daniel Samis, 67, of Abingdon. An autopsy will determine Lehew’s cause of death, police said.

Samis was killed when the sedan he was driving was swept away Friday evening near Calvary Road and James Run in Churchville. The body of Samis was recovered Saturday in Harford County, but search efforts for Lehew were suspended Sunday after the two divers were rushed to Maryland Shock Trauma after ascending too quickly in a quarry.

Approximately two dozen people spent much of Monday morning searching the James Run creekbed for Lehew’s body.

The search was organized by Brian Malcolm, an associate pastor at Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air, where Lehew had been attending since the beginning of the summer.

Joining the search were Lehew’s boyfriend, Kyle Bowman, his friends, his parents, members of Mount Zion and others who had heard about it on social media and wanted to help.

“We’re praying for a miracle,” Malcolm said before the search, which was done with the approval of the state police.

After several hours along the creek without finding anything, searchers came ashore.

Lehew’s body was found by a civilian not long after the search on Monday concluded, police said.

Lehew, a mother of four children, recently separated from her husband and had been living with Bowman and his parents for about six weeks, Bowman’s father, Lawrence Bowman said.

After her body was found, Malcolm posted an announcement on Facebook.

“It is a extremely sad day,” Malcolm wrote. “Elizabeth, our hearts break for you and your family. It was amazing to see the light in your soul from knowing Jesus. You are and will forever be a HERO.”

ddonovan@baltsun.com

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