The body of a missing 87-year-old woman whose husband was found decapitated more than one week ago was found in Lake Oconee in Putnam County, Ga., on Friday.
Shirley Dermond had been missing since May 5, when her 88-year-old husband, Russell Dermond, was found decapitated in the garage of their home. His head has not yet been recovered.
"We now unfortunately know that Shirley Dermond was murdered, and we're no longer, unfortunately, seeking to rescue her," Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told reporters during a news conference. "As bad as that is, it progresses our investigation."
Shirley Dermond's body was found in the lake on Friday
"While we were riding towards the place I was going to go fishing, I noticed something that looked strange — out of the ordinary — so we approached it," said fisherman Dennis Higgs. "When we got close enough to see what it might be — we thought it might be a buoy or something like that — when we got closer to it, we realized it was more than a buoy. It was something else, so we backed off from it. I think at 2:24, I called 9-1-1."
Shirley Dermond's death was "most certainly a homicide," but there were no "glaring signs of trauma," Sills said, adding the body was found about 5 or 6 miles from the Dermond's home, which could indicate that it was transported to the lake.
Shirley Dermond's body is being taken to the state crime lab in Atlanta.
Contributing: 11Alive, Atlanta, Ga., WMAZ-TV, Macon, Ga.