HIGHLAND, Ill. – A 3-month-old baby is alive today thanks to a quick-thinking paramedic who jumped into to frigid water the checkout what he thought was an empty SUV submerged in a lake.
After an investigation, police discovered the baby’s father was shot and killed inside a nearby burning home in Highland, Illinois, KSDK reports.
On Thursday, paramedics Todd Zobrist, 31, and Ty Barr, 35, spotted an SUV sinking into a cold lake. Zobrist immediately jumped into action.
“I said, ‘I’ll go.’ I took my shirt and sweat shirt off, boots and socks, and jumped in. I made the determination,” Zobrist said at a press conference. “I swam about 75 feet and got on top of the roof of the vehicle and saw the driver’s side window was not intact.”
Zobrist peeked inside and saw what he thought was a doll floating in the the six to eight inches of airspace at the top of the SUV.
“What I saw in front of me was two feet and two hands. Thought it was a doll or a toy. I reached back as far as I could and it was a person,” Zobrist said.
Zobrist pulled the 3-month-old baby boy to the roof of the car where he performed chest compressions.
Barr was watching the entire ordeal unfold from the shore.
“Once he came out with a baby, my concern came to that baby,” said Ty Barr. “I saw Todd doing chest compressions and I knew Todd started to struggle. The distance. The swim.”
Zobrist swam on his back through the frigid water back to shore, holding the baby above the water the entire time.
Police found mom Christy Campbell’s body in the lake nearby, ABC News reports.
Police say the baby’s father, Justin Campbell, 37, was found shot in the head at a home nearby.
The house was set on fire, and the couple’s children who were inside ran to a nearby Walmart for help, the Associated Press reports.
The couple’s seven children, including the baby boy pulled from the SUV, are now orphaned. They have been placed with relatives.
The 3-month-old baby was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released.