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FBI offers $20,000 reward in Georgia decapitation mystery

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A reward in the amount of $20,000 is being offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for information regarding the murder and decapitation of a Georgia man, according to a May 15, 2014 Augusta Chronicle report. Authorities also fear his wife was abducted from the couple’s lake home.

Keith Dermond, the eldest living son of the slain man, Russell Dermond, 88, said he does not believe his mother, Shirley Dermond, 87, will be found alive, AJC.com reports. “Part of me hopes she went quietly… The thought of her suffering is too much to bear,” he said.

Authorities continued to search for clues on Wednesday after a search using a Department of Natural Resources submarine on Tuesday failed to yield any evidence or clues in the case. The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and a number of other law enforcement agencies are assisting Putnam County investigators in the quest to find out who killed Russell and what happed to Shirley.

On May 6, Russell was found beheaded by his neighbors in the garage of the Great Waters home he shared with Shirley. She was nowhere to be found and the couple had not been heard from in days, Macon.com reports.

There had been gossip swirling that organized crime may had been involved in Russell’s death, but Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills dispelled that notion, saying such rumors were unfounded. He also indicated he was not optimistic that Shirley would be found alive, according to AJC.com.

Macon.com reports that police say Russell was last seen on May 1 at a Publix Supermarket not far from home, and he may also have been seen the next day walking along a local golf course. Macon.com reports he owned a chain of Hardee’s restaurants in the Atlanta area prior to retiring over a decade ago. The website notes he is survived by a daughter, two sons, and nine grandchildren. He would have celebrated his 89th birthday on June 6.

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