The body of a Nashville police officer was pulled Thursday morning from the frigid waters of the Cumberland River, where investigators say he died trying to save a suicidal woman.
Eric Mumaw, 44, was an 18-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department. According to tweets by the police department, Mumaw had been unaccounted for since about 4:40 a.m. Thursday.
The department announced the recovery of his body by a Nashville Fire Department diver about three hours later.
WSMV-TV in Nashville reported that police received a call around 4:20 a.m. from a relative of the woman, identified as 40-year-old Juli Glisson. The relative told dispatchers that Glisson was parked on the boat ramp at Nashville’s Peeler Park and was talking about suicide.
Responding officers found Glisson in her car, which was parked at the water’s edge. The news station reported that the officers talked to the distraught woman for a few minutes and believed that she was going to get out of the car when it suddenly rolled down the ramp and into the water.
Mumaw and another officer jumped into the water to rescue Glisson, but Mumaw went under the surface and didn’t come back up.
Officials told WSMV-TV that Mumaw was last seen alive about 50 yards into the river, which is about 15 feet deep.
Glisson was found on the riverbank, the news station reported. She was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center, where the Tennessean reported she was in stable condition.
The second officer who jumped into the icy water was also taken to the hospital for treatment. His condition was not immediately available.
WSMV-TV reported that investigators have detained Glisson, who they believe might have been impaired by “some type of substance.” It was not immediately clear what charges she could face.
The Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted a photo later Thursday morning that showed Mumaw, along with three of his colleagues, receiving the department’s lifesaving award in April 2011.
Metro police Chief Steve Anderson told WKRN-TV a little about Mumaw’s personality.
“Eric was one of those guys that I was always glad to see come in,” Anderson said. “We always traded insults with each other in a friendly way. That’s how he was with everybody.”
A friend of the fallen officer echoed that sentiment on Facebook.
Police departments from across the country were offering condolences to Anderson and his officers Thursday morning. Nashville area residents also remembered "Officer Eric" for his dedication to the community.
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