Couple Saves Missing Child Floating In Pasadena Creek: Report


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District said Project Manager Zachary Sandonato, pictured above, and his wife, Nicole, saved a missing child with autism from Pasadena’s Rock Creek on Nov. 3. (Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

PASADENA, MD - A Pasadena couple recently saved a missing child that they spotted in Rock Creek, a report said.

press release said the 4-year-old boy has autism.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said one of its project managers, Zachary Sandonato, and his wife, Nicole, made the save on Nov. 3.

The Sandonato's heard an unusual sound while walking along the water's edge and spotted the child floating on his back, the report said. 

The release said Zachary "ran into the chilly, waist-high water to retrieve the child, whose head was barely above the water."

The Army Corps of Engineers said the couple then "yelled to neighbors to bring towels to warm the crying child."

The Anne Arundel County Police Department confirmed that the child was missing, the report said.

The release said medics evaluated the boy, and his mother came to bring him home.

The Army Corps of Engineers thinks the child wandered from his home, went down a nearby road that was once a boat ramp and entered the water.

“It could have been a very terrible situation,” Zachary said in the release. “I’m happy that he’s home safe and sound.”

The Sandonato's said the situation was emotional for everybody.

“Zach’s quick and decisive actions to rescue the child prevented an otherwise tragic event from occurring,” supervisor David Robbins said in the release.

Zachary was born and raised in Maryland. He moved around the East Coast throughout his adult life and returned to Maryland after attending the University of Massachusetts Lowell. 

Before joining the Army Corps of Engineers, Zachary was a design manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Zachary has been with the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District since August. He focuses on military construction projects. He most recently worked on the Community Living Center Replacement project in Perry Point, which will provide long-term care for veterans.

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