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Georgia decapitation killer still sought by police as new search set to begin

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Georgia police continue to search for a killer who decapitated an elderly man last week in an upscale residential development in Putnam County. According to Macon.com, a new quest for clues is slated to take place on May 14, 2014 on the wooded, vacant lots in the Lake Oconee subdivision.

On May 6, Russell Dermond, 88, was found slain and beheaded by his neighbors in the garage of the Great Waters home he shared with his wife, Shirley Dermond, 87. She was nowhere to be found and the couple had not been heard from in days, Macon.com reports.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills is not optimistic Shirley will be found alive. Sills stated he has obtained her dental records in case they are needed for identification. Authorities believe Shirley may have been abducted.

Sills also addressed rumors that organized crime was involved in Russell’s murder and Shirley’s disappearance, saying such gossip was unfounded. According to AJC, Russell’s head has not yet been found, and that investigators believe he was decapitated after being killed.

A Department of Natural Resources submarine was used Tuesday to search the peninsula area off Lake Oconee just beyond Russell and Shirley’s home. According to AJC, nothing related to the case was discovered.

Sills said regarding tips about the case, “The psychics are calling, the idiots are calling… Unfortunately we’ll have one legitimate call and there are eight idiots that call… We still desperately need that call that will break this case open,” reports Macon.com.

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.

The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and various county law enforcement agencies located nearby are assisting Putnam County investigators to determine who killed Russell and to help find Shirley. Sills said he and his staff are working “nonstop” to attempt to solve this mysterious crime, according to Macon.com.

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