Man Feels Something Hit Leg, Then Sees Foot Pop Up


A Strange Sensation

He floated in the bright blue water of his local lake and felt the warm sun on his cool skin. Even though it was disliked by others, he loved this lake. A sudden sensation passed through his leg. Initially, Angelo thought that it was only a fish, but he was horribly mistaken.

He examined it more closely, and at first glance, it appeared to be some drifting algae in the water. Angelo came to the realization that this was neither a fish nor algae as the sun shimmered on the tranquil waters. He couldn’t believe it! It was toes.

An Average Man

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There was nothing special about Rosewood resident Angelo Mondragon. He worked as a plumber during the day, and in the evenings, he took care of his two children.

But when he went for a swim in a lake one sunny Saturday in July, this dedicated father had no clue he was about to discover something truly unbelievable.

Weekend Getaway

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Angelo made the decision to spend the weekend there with his family. He reasoned that it would be a great way to unwind after the hustle and bustle of the workday.

They drove 25 minutes to reach the stunning lake after hopping in the car. Their arrival at the lake was greeted by groups of people boating, hiking, swimming, and enjoying all that the lake had to offer. He could never have imagined what awaited him in the gorgeous, clear water as he drove into the parking lot.

Cooling Off

Lake Windsor

In Colorado, Julys tend to get extremely hot. Everyone was seeking a spot to cool off because Fort Collins and its surroundings could reach temperatures of up to 87°F.

Others also considered taking a dip in the lake’s water to cool off, but he was completely blind to what was happening beneath the water’s surface. He could not have predicted his grisly discovery.

A Beautiful Body Of Water

Public Domain

In Angelo’s local region, a beautiful lake boasted crystal blue waters and breathtaking scenery. Having a relaxing setting at the end of a busy day was the perfect way to unwind.

The landscape was breathtaking to see, and on the day he made the decision to take his family there, it appeared to be brimming with life. However, there were terrifying legends about this lake that would send chills up your spine.

A Quiet Life

USA Today

Angelo was born and raised in Rosewood. Not much happened there, and your neighbors always knew your business. Despite this, the locals were kind and willing to go out of their way for their neighbors.

However, there was something peculiar about this community that had long troubled its residents. You may describe it as a legend about the lake and a tragic incident that had occurred there 30 years prior.

A Mysterious Disappearance


The lake had an incident involving a child going missing while swimming out in the water 30 years ago.

Unfortunately, after a thorough search, no body was discovered, leading many residents of the town to assert that the lake has been cursed ever since.

He Did Not Listen

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Angelo had seen the tragic event that split his town in two thirty years prior as he had lived in Rosewood all of his life. He had seen the upheaval it had brought about and how it had wrecked the entire neighborhood.

Angelo, however, never paid attention to what was said about the lake. He should have heeded the warning.

A Good Day

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His smile spread across his face as he reached the lake with his two children. Just by the feeling of it, he knew it was going to be a wonderful day!

Adam decided to cool off in the water after setting up near the lake’s edge. There was no way he could have anticipated what awaited him.

Stepping In

Lake Windsor

In the hot, sweaty atmosphere near the shore, Angelo couldn’t think of anything better to cool off than to dive into the cold waters.

An initial feeling of satisfaction passed through him as he dipped his feet into the lake, but soon it would be shattered. Taking a gentle step into the water, he gradually made his way waist-deep into it. He couldn’t even breathe a few seconds later as his temperature rose to such a dangerous level.

Deeper Into The Lake

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With the sun beaming down on his warm skin, Angelo felt good swimming in the lake. He continued to go deeper and deeper out into the water.

But as he got further out, he had no idea he was about to uncover something that would leave him feeling sick to his stomach.

Alone… Or So He Thought

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Angelo was the only one out this deep. He looked toward the shore. He could see his two kids near the edge, and they were fine. He noticed that the lake had become packed.

It seemed like everyone in the surrounding areas had the same idea. But Angelo was the only one who was greeted with such an unpleasant surprise.

Something Under The Water

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Around 15 minutes had passed and Angelo was still bobbing about in the bright blue water, breathing in the fresh air and nature.

As he relaxed in peace, he heard the birds chirp from above. Then suddenly, he felt something brush past his leg.

It Was Something Else

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At first, he didn’t think too much about it. After all, there must be plenty of fish swimming under the water. But as the object hit him again, this time with more force, it caught his attention.

Now, it didn’t feel like a fish. It felt like something else. He took a deep breath and got a closer look, and uncovered something truly unimaginable.

Sick To His Stomach

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At first, when Angelo looked below it looked like a bit of algae flowing in the water above some rocks. Then, just as the sun glistened on the waves, Angelo realized it wasn’t algae. He kicked underwater to bring whatever it was up to the surface.

He saw toes. Human toes. He felt sick to his stomach.

Quick Decision

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He pulled the toddler out of the water and began to scream at the girl’s family and anyone who could hear him call 9-1-1. “I grabbed her and carried her limp body to the shore,” he said.

When he reached the edge of the lake, he was met by a paramedic who immediately took the girl away to the hospital. But would she make it? Who even was she? And what was she doing out in the lake by herself?

Dire Situation

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He pulled the toddler out of the water and began to scream at the girl’s family and anyone who could hear him to call 9-1-1. “I grabbed her and carried her limp body to the shore,” he said.

When he reached the edge of the lake, he was met with a paramedic who immediately took the girl away to the hospital. But would she make it? Who even was she? And what was she doing out in the lake by herself?

Emergency Services

USA Today

“I saw just the bottom of her feet and then right then at that moment, that became my child, I reached in, and I pulled her out like I would any of my babies,” said Angelo.

When he reached the edge of the lake, he was met with a paramedic who immediately took the girl away to the hospital. But would she make it? Who was she? And what was she doing out in the lake by herself?

3-Year-Old Girl

USA Today

The girl was three-year-old Sitali Hernandez who had been swimming in the lake before her accident. She had hypothermia, her lungs were filled with fluid, and doctors were worried about how long her brain had been without oxygen.

Despite being rescued by Angelo, nobody knew how long she had been under the water.

All OK

USA Today

Emma Hernandez got the call she never could have imagined getting – her daughter’s limp body was found underwater. She rushed to be by her side.

Angelo’s quick thinking had saved Hernandez’s daughter. “Her lungs are good, her heartbeat is good. Everything is good,” said Hernandez to USA Today after Sitlaly had been given the OK from her doctors.

Tears Of Joy

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Emma Hernandez met the man who saved her daughter’s life at the hospital where she was recovering. When she saw Angelo, she ran to meet him and could do nothing but cry and express her gratitude.

She embraced him and stammered “…There are no words… no words… how much I can thank you!” — her outpouring to the man who took action and saved her baby girl was truly something to behold. They both knew how it could have all gone so very wrong in an instant had he not been at the lake that day.

Waiting For Him

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“You saved her… you saved my baby!” gasped Emma. Then she told Angelo that someone was waiting for him. That someone was Sitlaly.

She couldn’t wait to see her saviour, and as soon as she was well enough, she asked for him. “I can’t wait to see her, she’s part of our family now…you guys are part of our family now,” Angelo said emotionally. And when he saw her, his heart was filled with joy to see her sitting up and talking.


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“If I was not in that right spot at the right time, it could have been a search and rescue mission,” Angelo told USA Today. “It felt like something you normally wouldn’t feel in the water,” Angelo said in an interview.

“I did sort of a back kick to bring up whatever it was. Then I saw the bottom of a baby’s foot float up. As I told the little girl’s mom when I saw the baby’s toes, that became my baby.”

A Happy Ending

USA Today

It’s apparent the Hernandez family was lucky to have Angelo there that day, but now, Angelo has seen with his own two eyes how incredibly easy it is to have a toddler wander off into the water.

And the statistics are frightening. According to the CDC, approximately 10 toddlers drown every day in the United States. But Angelo hopes to change that.

Raising Awareness

USA Today

The terrifying ordeal at the lake has prompted Angelo to work with local businesses and residents to collect life vests for little ones on beaches.

“The baby was not wearing a life vest,” he said. If she was wearing one, the whole situation could have been different. And, if it wasn’t for Angelo’s actions that day, who knows what could have happened to Sitali? Luckily for her, she had a guardian angel looking after her that day.

Lucky Coincidence

Greeley Tribune

This had been Angelo’s first visit to the lake. And luckily, when he pulled Sitali out of the water, there just happened to be two nurses on the beach that day.

Angelo and the two off-duty nurses managed to resuscitate Sitali while they waited for emergency services to arrive. The stars aligned for the little girl that day – that’s why she survived.

She Wouldn’t Have Had A Chance

CBS Denver

“As tragic as it was, she would have had no chance without that intervention from bystanders,” Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Fire Chief Herb Brady said.

But, in yet another lucky coincidence for Sitali, Tabatha and Thomas Lang, an emergency room nurse and air nurse, weren’t even supposed to be at Windsor lake that day.

They Weren’t Supposed To Be There


“Saving the girl was truly just our job, it just happened to be on the beach that day,” Tabatha told reporters. And it was extremely lucky that they were there.

Tabatha and Thomas Lang had made plans to go up into the mountains that very weekend. However, at the last minute, the couple decided to change their plans and do some paddleboarding on Windsor Lake.

Just Doing Their Job

Greeley Tribune

While Tabatha and Thomas were paddleboarding in the lake, they heard screaming. “It wasn’t a decision to help,” Tabatha said. “We went to work.

“We’ve worked together for a long time,” she said. “We didn’t have to think about what we were doing. We just did

Twist Of Fate

Greeley Tribune

As Tabitha and Thomas were performing CPR on Sitali and trying to clear her airways, other bystanders on the beach helped control the crowd and made sure there was enough space for emergency personnel could get through. Just before the ambulance arrived, Sitali started to breathe on her own. An emergency medical technician scooped Sitali up and put her in the ambulance.

“Maybe it was meant to be that everyone was there to help her,” Tabatha said. “If someone hadn’t found the girl and pulled her out of the water, who knows how long she might have been down there.”