Update: Missing wife of decapitated man found dead in river

Courtesy: Putnam County Sheriff’s Office/CNN

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Update: 5/16 – (CNN) — The body of an 87-year-old Georgia woman who disappeared two weeks ago after her husband was found decapitated in their home has been discovered in the state’s Oconee River, a close family friend told CNN on Friday.

Investigators believe Shirley Dermond was taken from her home near Lake Oconee after her husband, 88-year-old Russell Dermond, was decapitated sometime between May 2 and May 4.

“The whole family are in shock with the news of Shirley’s body being found,” said the Rev. David Key of Lake Oconee Community Church.

“We haven’t even had a funeral for Russell because their kids wanted to wait. Now that we know about Shirley, we will start planning the funeral services for both.”

Dermond’s body was discovered after friends, who hadn’t heard from the couple in days, went to their home, where they found his body in the garage.

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.

Courtesy: CNN/Outdoor Advertising Association
Courtesy: CNN/Outdoor Advertising Association

GEORGIA – Authorities are investigating a “very unusual” case involving a decapitated 88-year-old man and his missing 87-year-old wife.

Russell Dermond’s death and Shirley Dermond’s disappearance are mysteries detectives are trying to unravel — and fast.

“We need to assume, or at least pray, that Mrs. Dermond is still alive, and we desperately need to know her whereabouts,” Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said Thursday.

Investigators are treating her disappearance as an abduction, he said.

There is no indication she’s a suspect, and there’s “plenty” to indicate she was taken, he said.

Her pocketbook, cell phone and vehicle were all at the million-dollar waterfront home where her husband’s headless body was found.

Investigators believe Russell Dermond was killed between last Friday and Sunday, and they’re still searching for his severed head, Sills told reporters, describing the case as “very unusual” and the most frustrating homicide of his career.

So far, the investigation has turned up little to shed light on the crimes. Investigators aren’t aware of any enemies the couple had made, or any reason someone would target them, he said.

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