Home » Beloved Town Manager Dies After Saving 4-Year-Old Son From Frozen Pond

Beloved Town Manager Dies After Saving 4-Year-Old Son From Frozen Pond

When the ice over frozen Etna Pond gave out beneath Kevin Howell and his little boy, Howell made sure his son was safe.

The Maine man hauled the 4-year-old boy out of the freezing water when they fell through around 6:30 a.m. during their morning walk. According to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, Howell then told the boy to run home and get his mother, Katie.

When the boy reached her, his mother told him to stay home, called 911, and then rushed to her husband, still trapped in the frigid waters, with anchor and rope in hand, authorities said. Then she fell through the ice as well.

“Upon reaching the shore, the mom secured the rope to the shore, then went to help her husband, but ended up breaking through the ice as well, and was unable to get out,” the sheriff’s office said.

Fortunately, a nearby officer responded to the distress call, arriving at the scene to help the trapped couple. Sheriff Detective Jordan Norton spotted the wife and “began crawling across the treacherous ice, holding onto the rope, and was able to pull the mother out of ice and get her to shore,” the sheriff’s office said. “He looked for the husband but could not find any trace of him.”

Norton then ushered the rescued woman back to her house where her son was waiting. Maine Warden Service, the local fire department, and the state police then arrived to the pond to aid her husband. Rescue divers entered the water around 1:40 p.m., several hours after Howell first fell through. They reached his body about 20 minutes later.

Howell was the town manager of Carmel, a post he held for about eight years. A colleague, Daniel Frye, told the Portland Press Herald that Howell was a “wonderful, wonderful guy” who “brought the community together” with constant projects for town improvements. He was also described as a loving father who enjoyed sharing photos of his son and cooking for his family.

“He’s going to be really missed around here,” a neighbor told the Herald. “It won’t be the same without him.”

The Daily Beast has reached out to Katie Howell.


January 2024