Lake Oconee murder, disappearance unsolved - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lake Oconee murder, disappearance unsolved

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sill (WSB) Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sill (WSB)
LAKE OCONEE, GA (WALB) -

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sill said Thursday that his investigators and the FBI are searching for 88-year-old Russell Dermond's wife, Shirley, who they fear was abducted. 

Mr. Dermond's body was found at their exclusive Lake Oconee home, decapitated. His head was not there. Authorities are trying to dispel rumors surrounding the murder of the Lake Oconee man, who married to his wife for 68 years.

In a news conference this afternoon, Sill said that the missing woman has not been located.They are looking through video footage of businesses in the area. The decapitation is suspected to have happened after the victim was killed. 

Sheriff's boats were scouring the area near the crime scene within two hours of the report, and sideband sonar was used, but no bodies were found. Cadaver dogs found nothing on land. They are searching door to door in the area. 

The spokesman said despite the media attention, their investigation is going through its normal courses. Other counties have offered more man power.

The woman's purse, cell phone, and car are all at the house where they should be. Sheriff Sill said that he is the only person he has absolutely eliminated as a suspect.

He thinks the couple was targeted, because the exclusive area has almost no random crime, in the 18 years he has been sheriff. It is gated, and on a cul de sac. The family has cooperated with police.

Sills hopes that Mrs. Dermond is still alive, but he has his doubts, because her husband was killed. He told reporters that if he had a good lead on a suspect at this time, he would not be standing there talking to them.

 

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