By Monday, May 19, 2014 the residents of Putnam County's Reynolds Plantation had learned that the body of a missing resident, Shirley Dermond, 87, had been recovered from Lake Oconee, near where Putnam and Greene counties connect on the large body of water. But they also learned a great deal more after the GBI crime lab conducted an autopsy on the victim, including the fact that she was wearing everyday clothes when her killer or killers purposefully placed her already dead body into the water at that specifically chosen site, according to the AJC.
Great Waters residents and Putnam County residents also learned that the Putnam County Sheriff's Office was now searching the elderly couple's home again, for what they believed may have been a crowbar or some other weapon used to result in the blunt force trauma fatal head injury sustained by Shirley Dermond. And that despite continued searches of the lake over the weekend, the head of her husband, Russell Dermond, 88, had still not been found, according to Liz Artz's WSB TV.
Ronnie Serrao was one of the fishermen who noticed the woman floating face down in the water on Friday, and he spoke with Liz Artz, telling her that when he and the other fisherman got closer to the floating object they learned "it wasn't just something floating in the water...it was a person." And that led to the 911 call to authorities.
Sheriff Howard Sills, who was named "Sheriff of the Year" last year by his Georgia law enforcement peers, believes the couple were murdered sometime between Friday, May 2, after 4:30 p.m. (after the mailman delivered the mail) to Saturday, May 3, before 4:30 p.m. (when the mail would have been delivered again).
He may be basing this assumption on the fact that Mrs. Dermond had begun work on her crossword puzzle from Friday's newspaper, as her son Keith Dermond has said she was so talented at doing, but which may or may not prove to have been done by the victim on the last day of her life. That's because the sheriff now believes that the victims knew their killer, so he or she may be attempting to throw off the investigation timeline by having completed that daily newspaper puzzle.
If you saw anyone or any activity on the lake between Friday, May 2 at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 3 around the same time, it may have a bearing on this case, so you should contact the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and let them decide if it does or not. Their contact number is (706) 485-8557.