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Sheriff: More than 1 person involved in Lake Oconee murders | Crime

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Sheriff: More than 1 person involved in Lake Oconee murders
Crime, News

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

On May 5, Russell Dermond, 88, was found dead in the garage of his upscale home in Reynolds Plantation. He had been beheaded, according to police, and his head has not been found.The body of his wife, 87-year-old Shirley Dermond, was found in Lake Oconee about five miles from their home on May 16. Police say she died of blunt force trauma.

Authorities have not determined a suspect or a motive in the murders. Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said he believes that one person couldn't have committed the crimes.

"You've got two people, one's transported to my way of thinking a great distance by boat, and it's a good distance from the house to the dock, the other decapitated. I can't imagine one person doing that," Sills said.

Sills said that he believes Dermond was decapitated in an attempt to hide evidence.

"If I shot you in the head and the bullet is in your head, that's evidence," Sill said. "We can retrieve a bullet from a head and most times the lab can tell us within two to three manufactures who made that weapon."

Sills believes the fact that Shirley's body was found in the middle of the lake proves that the killers went to the crime scene by boat.

At least one neighbor's security camera is now in the hands of the FBI.

"We discovered some cameras that are pointing out towards the lake…one of them we've already gone through. It had a great picture of their dock, but not the area in question," Sills said.

The sheriff said that investigators are still going through 215 questionnaires that neighbors in the Dermonds' community filled out. Sills said it could take some time to go through all the information.

 

 

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