According to a breaking news report on Friday, May, 16, 2014, Atlanta's WSB-TV Channel 2 reports that sources have told them a body has been discovered in Lake Oconee as the search for Shirley Wilcox Dermond intensified. And the Putnam County Sheriff has confirmed that the body found is that of the missing 87-year-old Eatonton, Ga. homeowner who went missing between May 2-4, at the same time her husband is believed to have been killed and decapitated.
Sheriff Howard Sills has maintained a close grip on the investigation and search into the disappearance of the wife of the Georgia decapitation victim. Sheriff Sills was awarded the Georgia Association of Sheriff's "Sheriff of the Year" award in 2013 for his exemplary success as one of the state's premier lawmen. And on Friday, given his department's ability to locate the body of the missing Reynolds Plantation resident two weeks after her husband's death occurred, few will argue with his unwillingness to cede investigatory control of this complex and bizarre case to state or federal officials.
However, WSB-TV made contact with the victim's son Keith via telephone, and Channel 2's reporter Richard Elliot says Keith Dermond seems to think that it could not hurt to have more people and more resources in this investigation. But as a criminal profiler with a criminal justice and behavioral forensic degree, as well as past successful case experience in profiling, the National Criminal Profiles Examiner Radell Smith thinks Sheriff Sills is definitely on the right track, as he is performing an extensive victimology of the Dermond couple, in addition to other investigative efforts.
The idea here is to find out who these people would have some sort of problem with...rather somebody had a problem with them. And you do that by literally trying to identify every human they know," Sheriff Howard Sills said.
Russell Dermond, 88, was found decapitated in his garage at the couple's million dollar home on May 6 by neighbors in the upscale community that borders Lake Oconee. His wife's personal effects, which included her cell phone, purse, wallet and car keys were found undisturbed in the residence, but she was nowhere to be found. A week of searching by law enforcement officers, as well as a $20.000 reward offered by the Atlanta FBI Office--and as many as 100 billboards brandishing a photo and description of the missing female, produced no new leads.
But on Friday, as the Lake Oconee search intensified, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office is now confirming that Shirley Wilcox Dermond's body has been recovered, and the investigation continues into the death and decapitation of her husband Russell, and her death as well. Previous details shared by the sheriff regarding the case include his belief that this was not a crime resulting from the murder of the couple's son Mark Dermond in 2000, as no evidence thus far supported that theory, nor did he have any evidence to suggest it was the result of an organized mob hit.