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$30,000 Reward for Leads to Killer of Russell and Shirley Dermond

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department is now offering a monetary reward for information that leads to the suspect who beheaded Russell Dermond and killed his wife, Shirley.

Shirley Dermond's body was found floating in Lake Oconee. Credit: Screenshot from WSB
Shirley Dermond's body was found floating in Lake Oconee. Credit: Screenshot from WSB
A month has lapsed since neighbors made the gruesome discovery of Russell Dermond’s beheaded body in the Lake Oconee Home he shared with his wife, Shirley. And investigators still have no suspects in the double murder.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills announced in a statement June 2 that a $30,000 reward has been established for any information that will lead to the suspects involved in the murder of Russell Dermond, 88, and his wife, Shirley, 87.

According to a previous Patch story, Russell Dermond was killed sometime over the weekend of May 2. He was beheaded in his home on Lake Oconee and his body was found on May 6 when friends went to the couple’s home. His head has not been recovered.

Shirley Dermond was missing at the time. Her body was found two weeks later, in Lake Oconee, a second Patch story reported. She had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and was dead before her body was dumped into the lake.

“Much of my staff and all of my investigative personnel have worked on nothing but this case for the last 26 days,” Sills said in the statement. “We have been assisted by the F.B.I. along with scores of detectives loaned to me by fellow sheriffs from all around the state, and I am most grateful for all of their help and expertise.”

Although Sills believed before that offering a monetary reward may have hindered the investigation, he says it is high time where a large sum could motivate people to cooperate.

“Now we have reached a point in time, some thirty days after these heinous crimes, where I believe a significant monetary reward may well be the thing that will enable us to break this very difficult case,” Sills says in the the statement.

An official account has been set up at the Lake Oconee branch of The Peoples Bank to collect donations for the reward fund. Reynold’s Plantation has already contributed $30,000 to the fund. All contributions are tax deductible.

Sills recently told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes the Dermonds were “at least minimally acquainted with whoever did this. That’s an assumption, coupled with some physical evidence,” he said.

The attackers didn't use force to enter the couple's lakeside home. Investigators said Shirley Dermond's wallet, cellphone, purse and car were all left behind.

Maintenance workers with access inside Reynolds Plantation were recently given polygraph tests that turned up nothing new, Sills told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 404-679-9000 or the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 706-485-8557.

Tyler Jozefowicz June 10, 2014 at 12:07 AM
Mental illness has permeated this thread when some here start talking about illegal immigrants. In case you're interested , it's the good old boys that are employing them for cheap money. Jesus would have mercy on their souls.
Lone Stranger June 10, 2014 at 05:18 AM
David and Tyler are both liberal loonies.
David Brown June 10, 2014 at 04:06 PM
Fred, you might want to read the Acceptable Use section of Patch's Terms of Use. I have disagreed with you without resorting to derogatory language. http://decatur.patch.com/terms
Fatkat June 10, 2014 at 10:52 PM
Someone needs a serious time out!

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