Henderson hero, and one hundreds of miles away, save a life

Terry Harmon didn’t wake up on New Year’s Eve expecting to be a hero. He put on his brown uniform and gold badge like he does every other day. Radio traffic to dispatch, like it always is.

When he opened the door of a Spottsville, Kentucky mobile home and found a man dead, it’s hard to believe his moment was about to come.

Law enforcement officers are trained to deal with the worst, but sometimes they get a call that is hard for even seasoned veterans to handle. One of those came to Harmon, a Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy, on the final day of 2017.

“I’ve never encountered this issue,” Harmon says, “12 years on this job.”

Harmon has EMT training and could tell right away, the man in the home couldn’t be saved. But a phone call from a family friend in North Carolina may have saved another. If there was ever an unremarkable call, this was it. A welfare check isn’t one to usually get the blood pumping.

“You go, knock of a door, speak with someone, ‘Hey your aunt called and was concerned,’” Harmon says. “Usually those things.”

He climbed the rickety steps of a mobile home, tucked back into the woods down a long dirt drive. One look at the door, and he could tell this was not a usual call.

“There’s a piece of rope that was actually holding it closed,” he says. “As I opened it and start to knock, the door started springing open.”

He saw Charles Keefover, 65, dead on the couch. Harmon says he is disabled and in bad health. Harmon says the death isn’t suspicious.

Law enforcement officers deal with things every day most of us can hardly imagine. But when Harmon drove his cruiser down the driveway off Old U.S. 60 there was something waiting that even he could hardly imagine.

“You could see the flicker of a TV,” Harmon says, as he continued to search the home. 

He followed the light to a room, and as he stepped around the corner he saw what he thought was a reptile cage. It was made of wood and had six small windows. “I took my flashlight and scanned across the windows looking for, what I thought I was going to find a large snake,” he says.

“A child’s head popped up.”

Like her dad, the 9-year-old girl is disabled, can’t walk or talk, and was alone for 36 hours. Harmon says she had no way to take care of herself. “No water bottles, no sippy cups, no food, there's nothing.”

The girl was taken to the hospital, dehydrated and underweight, but Harmon says she’s going to be okay.

Harmon could be seen by some as a hero, but that’s a title he has reserved for someone else, hundreds of miles away. The friend of the family, who hadn’t heard from them in a day.

“If she hadn’t called, we would have no reason to go there,” says Harmon.

Saving lives is just another day on the job.

“You see your own kids in that position,” he says. “What would you do as a parent takes over.”

 

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

 

(This story was originally published December 3, 2017)


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Bull Bash Give-a-way
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Tristate Professionals
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Dr. Oz Wellness Network
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Video Center