Putnam County Coroner Gary McElhenney says Russell Dermond died from cranial cerebral trauma. That is the official cause of death listed on the autopsy.
Friday morning McElhenney told 13WMAZ's Anita Oh, cranial cerebral trauma means the cause of death was some sort of wound to the head, but they won't know exactly what until they find the head. McElhenney says that hasn't happened yet.
Dermond's body did not have any gunshot wounds, stab wounds, or bruising. The coroner says there was no indication of a struggle.
The blood splatter at the murder scene confirms that Dermond was beheaded after his death. McElhenney says there would have been more blood if the beheading had happened while Dermond was still alive.