Missing Wife of Decapitated Georgia Man Found Dead in Lake

Monday, 19 May 2014 11:45 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The remains of a woman whose husband's decapitated body was found earlier this month was discovered Friday in Georgia's Lake Oconee, sparking questions about whether the deaths are connected.

It all started May 6 when police found 88-year-old Russell Dermond's headless body in the garage of his family's Eatonton, Georgia, home after Dermond and his wife failed to show for a Kentucky Derby party, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Two fishermen then reported seeing a body in Lake Oconee Friday, and it turned out to be 87-year-old Shirley Dermond. According to Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, the elderly woman died of blunt-force trauma to the head and was already dead when her body was dumped in the lake, about five miles from her home, UPI.com reported.

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"As we rode down the water, I noticed something just didn't look right," fisherman Dennis Higgs told The Eatonton Messenger. "Something was out of order. I saw [something] hung up on a tree — and I was 99 percent sure it was a body . . . I thought, 'Holy crap. That doesn't look right.'"

Sills told WSB-TV Atlanta 2 that, while authorities continue their search for evidence in the double murder, officers have yet to recover anything of substance.

Police believe the attacker(s) gained access to the Dermond's waterfront home via the lake, considering Shirley Dermond's body was recovered five miles from the home, The Journal Constitution noted

Authorities believe the elderly couple's gruesome double murder was carried out between May 2 and May 3. Russell Dermond's head has yet to be recovered.

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