A woman found dead in a St Louis-area lake was identified today as the mother of an infant rescued hours earlier by a paramedic, who performed CPR on the hood of the submerged SUV in which the child was found floating shortly after a fatal fire erupted at their home. The coroner in nearby Madison County, Illinois, released the information as investigators tried to untangle the events that preceded the death of the woman, 32-year-old Cristy Lynn Campbell. Six of her children escaped the fire yesterday morning at her house in Glen Carbon, Illinois, but a man in the house was killed. An autopsy will be conducted today to identify the man. Campbell's ex-husband, 37-year-old Justin Campbell, lived at the home and remains unaccounted for. Court records show they had a volatile relationship, with several reports of domestic violence. About 15 minutes after the fire was reported, a passing motorist spotted an SUV driving down a hill and into Silver Lake in Highland, Illinois, about 16 miles from the fire scene. Highland paramedic Todd Zobrist arrived quickly, jumped into the 46-degree water and swam 50 to 75 feet to the SUV, where he found the 3-month-old boy floating inside the car.
Zobrist pulled the baby by the arm to the hood of the SUV, where he began CPR, then swam with the child to shore. The child, initially unresponsive, is expected to recover and could be released today from a Missouri hospital, according to Madison County Sheriff John Lakin.
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