Decapitation mystery: Sheriff rules out mob hit

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:03 AM
Last updated 10:06 AM
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Putnam County’s sheriff said investigators are no closer to finding a missing Eatonton woman or capturing those responsible for her husband’s death.

Russell Dermond, 88 was found dead in his garage. His wife of 62 years, Shirley Dermond, is missing.  MACON TELEGRAPH/GEORGIA NEWSPAPER PARTNERSHIP
Russell Dermond, 88 was found dead in his garage. His wife of 62 years, Shirley Dermond, is missing.

Neighbors found 88-year-old Russell Dermond’s decapitated body one week ago today. His wife of 68 years, Shirley Dermond, has been missing ever since, and Putnam Sheriff Howard Sills said he is not optimistic she’ll be found alive.

“I’m running down one thing after another and coming up empty,” Sills said Tuesday.

Speculation abounds on social media, including a false report that a elderly woman who turned up dazed and confused Monday at a Tampa hospital was Shirley Dermond.

Sills said rumors of organized crime involvement are unfounded.

“No, the man wasn’t in witness protection,” he said. “He wasn’t going to testify. There’s no evidence of any kind of torture.”

Investigators believe Russell Dermond’s head, yet to be recovered, was severed after he was killed.

On Tuesday, they enlisted the aid of a Department of Natural Resources submarine robot to scour the deep peninsula off Lake Oconee outside the couple’s Reynolds Plantation home. So far, they’ve turned up nothing but a ladder and some discarded lumber.

Sills said he’s also dispatched deputies to a wooded area near the crime scene hoping to turn up something, if only a clue. He said he’s received 87-year-old Shirley Dermond’s dental records, in case they’re needed for identification.

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corgimom 05/14/14 - 10:59 am
That poor lady is dead, I

That poor lady is dead, I just hope her passing was merciful and quick.

At least they are in Heaven together.

Stunned 2
Stunned 2 05/14/14 - 11:12 am
Such a sad & Horrible crime. Besides their current investigative

theories, they should look into Satanic worship in the area and other local reports of animal mutilation. Research shows that many mutilators start with animal torture & mutilation - then move on to human mutilation (such as Jeffrey Dahmer). Has anyone done a head count in the GRU dental research lab?

Graymare 05/14/14 - 12:18 pm
Totally disgusting! Some

Totally disgusting! Some very, very sick folks out there!

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