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Missing wife of decapitated Ga. man found dead in Lake Oconee

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The mystery of 87-year-old Shirley Dermond, who was reported missing from her Eatonton, Ga. home and whose husband’s decapitated remains were discovered in the family garage almost two weeks ago, came to a grisly conclusion as authorities say that Shirley’s lifeless body was discovered in the cold waters of Lake Oconee, just south of Athens. The discovery was announced on May 16 by Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills.

Sills confirmed that Shirley was murdered. Although the sheriff would not go into detail regarding the condition of the body, he did say that there were “no glaring signs of trauma,” and that “the head was not removed or anything like that," according to CNN. Authorities still have no motive for the murders of Shirley Dermond and her decapitated husband, Russell. Police also have no suspects in the mysterious double homicide.

Police are going under the assumption that Shirley was abducted from her home sometime between May 2 and May 4, following the decapitation of her 88-year-old husband Russell. Investigators continue to search for Russell’s decapitated head, and are planning to search that portion of Lake Oconee where Shirley’s body was recovered.

The FBI put up more than 100 billboards in its search for the missing woman, and it offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information to her location or the arrest of the person responsible for her disappearance. The mindset of the individual that did this was a homicidal individual that doesn't deserve to breathe the air on this Earth," Sills said.

WSBTV reported Sheriff Sills as saying that Shirley’s body would be going to the state crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy. Shirley’s body was discovered in Lake Oconee by a fisherman who said “It became apparent as we pulled closer that it wasn't just something in the water. It was a person and I won't forget it."

The double homicide has Sills, a 40 year veteran in law enforcement, completely baffled. The sheriff said he’s never seen a case like this.

“It is unusual for me at this point in the investigation, especially with this many people involved in the investigation, not to have a clear path that we are going down,” Sills said.

Keith Dermond, the elderly couple’s son, described his parents as “salt of the Earth," and is asking anyone with any information to come forward, according to USA Today. Police stated earlier in their investigation that they did not consider the son a suspect in his parents’ murders.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 706-485-8557.

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