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Putnam Co. woman accused of abusing foster child

Putnam Co. woman accused of abusing foster child

A Putnam County woman bonded out of jail after allegedly abusing one of her foster children.

56-year-old Lynn Smith is charged with two different cruelty to children charges and battery.

On Monday,the Putnam Sheriff's Office got both an anonymous call and an e-mail with a video that allegedly shows Smith forcing a small child's head in the toilet.

Putnam Sheriff Howard Sills says they contacted DFACS who removed five foster children from the Smiths' home.

A fresh start in investigation into Lake Oconee murders

A fresh start in investigation into Lake Oconee murders

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga.(WXIA) – On the surface at least, things looked pretty normal at Lake Oconee as local residents prepare for the big upcoming July 4th holiday weekend.

But underneath, many are well aware that one of the area's biggest and most gruesome murders remains unsolved.

Sheriff asks public to add to reward in Dermond case

Sheriff asks public to add to reward in Dermond case

A month after the unsolved murders of Russell and Shirley Dermond, the Putnam County sheriff says it may take "a significant monetary reward" to break the case.

Sheriff Howard Sills announced creation of a public reward fund and appealed for donations. He said Reynolds Plantation has pledged $30,000.

The FBI has already offered up to $20,000 for information about the murders.

Eatonton Police accuse Jones Co. clerk of shoplifting

Connie Lee Mize joined her attorney Gregory Bushway to speak out against allegations she shoplifted $115 worth of items from an Eatonton Wal-Mart.

Sheriff: More than 1 person involved in Lake Oconee murders

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga.(WXIA) -- Investigators believe the murder of an elderly couple in Putnam County likely involved more than one suspect.

Lake Oconee search on hold today

Lake Oconee search on hold today

The search in Lake Oconee for new clues in a double murder is on hold today.

Richard Tanner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says his teams searched the lake from Friday night through last night for evidence in the deaths of Russell and Shirley Dermond.

He said they did not find any new clues.

A fisherman found Shirley Dermond's body. Tanner says they searched a 6- to 8-mile stretch between the Dermond's lakeside home and the dam where she was found.

Tanner says he'll talk to Sills about where they'll look next.

We could not reach Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills for comment this morning.

Meanwhile, Coroner Gary McElhenney says Shirley Dermond's body was so badly decomposed, it was hard to tell if there's bruising or signs of struggle. He said an medical examiner ruled out stabbing or bullet wounds.

Lake Oconee fishermen react to discovering a body

Lake Oconee fishermen react to discovering a body

People who frequent Lake Oconee say they were surprised to learn a body believed to be that of 87-year-old Shirley Dermond was found by a fellow fisherman in the water Friday.

Dale Sessions was there as the body was pulled from the lake.

He says he saw helicopters overhead and boats surrounding a cove about a half mile from where he was fishing.

But he says that won't deter him from revisiting the lake.