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Coroner: Shirley Dermond died from blunt force trauma

Coroner: Shirley Dermond died from blunt force trauma

After two fisherman said they found a body at Lake Oconee, Putnam authorities pulled who they are confident is Shirley Dermond from the lake Friday afternoon.

Putnam coroner Gary McElhenney told 13WMAZ Saturday that the autopsy performed by the GBI medical examiner concluded the elderly woman died from blunt force trauma to the head.

FBI now offering $20K reward for missing Putnam County woman

FBI now offering $20K reward for missing Putnam County woman

(WXIA) -- The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for any information about a missing Putnam County woman.

Just after noon Tuesday, Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers launched a specially equipped pontoon boat brought in from Lake Lanier to search a portion of Lake Oconee for 87-year-old Shirley Dermond.

She's been missing for exactly one week since the decapitated body of her husband, Russell, 88, was found in the garage of their nearby lakefront home.

Team searching lake near Dermonds' home

Team searching lake near Dermonds' home

Putnam County's investigators are using underwater technology to search Lake Oconee today near the home of Russell and Shirley Dermond.

13WMAZ's Tom George is on a boat with a Georgia Department of Natural Resources team that's using a sonar technology to scan the bottom of the lake, which averages from 20 to 30 feet deep.

Russell Dermond, age 88, was found murdered one week ago today. His wife, who is 87, has been missing since then.

Coroner: Dermond died from head trauma

Coroner: Dermond died from head trauma

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.

Source: Russell Dermond's head not found at murder scene

Source: Russell Dermond's head not found at murder scene

Investigators have not found the head of Russell Dermond, who was found decapitated at his Putnam County home Tuesday.

That's according to a law enforcement source close to the murder investigation.

Putnam Coroner Gary McElhenney said Wednesday night thatl Dermond, age 88, was found beheaded Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Putnam County's sheriff says they continue to look for clues in the disappearance of Dermond's wife Shirley but there's no physical search underway.

Elderly man killed, wife missing in Putnam County

Elderly man killed, wife missing in Putnam County

An autopsy is to be performed today on the body of an elderly man found dead at the Lake Oconee home of 88-year old Russell Dermond and his 87-year-old wife Shirley, who is still missing this morning.