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Body in Ga. lake likely that of elderly woman

EATONTON, Ga. (AP) - Investigators found a body Friday that they believe to be that of a missing 87-year-old Georgia woman whose husband was discovered slain and decapitated in the couple's home earlier this month, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said.

A crime laboratory will definitively determine whether the remains are those of Shirley Dermond, and establish a cause of death in a case that has perplexed investigators in central Georgia.

The body matches the general description of Dermond and has similar surgical scars, Sills told a news conference. He described the case as a homicide, but he said investigators could not see any obvious signs of trauma on the remains. Authorities suspect the couple were killed May 2 or May 3.

"We now unfortunately know that Shirley Dermond was murdered, and we're no longer, unfortunately, seeking to rescue her," Sills told reporters during a news conference. "As bad as that is, it progresses our investigation."

The sheriff said he hoped a forensic examination of the remains might yield more clues that could assist investigators. Authorities also plan to use an underwater submersible to examine the bottom of the lake for evidence.

The killing was a shocking anomaly in a gated, exclusive community guarded by private security. Police have said they do not believe the violence was random. The couple's lakefront home showed no signs of a struggle or forced entry and no ransom note was left behind.

Sills said the body was discovered five to six miles from the couple's home, raising the possibility that the assailant or assailants may have used a boat to gain access to the property and possibly took Shirley Dermond with them when they left.

"That body was transported there, or at least to that vicinity," Sills said.

Before the discovery of the wife's body, authorities had treated her disappearance as a potential kidnapping, even as they feared she may be dead. They displayed her picture on area billboards in the hope it might generate tips. Sills said investigators have also consulted with agents in the FBI's behavioral unit in the hopes of gleaning insight about who might be responsible.

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Carol Lopez May 17 2014 at 12:44 AM

May they both rest in peace now that they are together again. Godspeed to the police in capturing their murder.

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1 reply
Bryant Carol Lopez May 17 2014 at 10:32 AM

Well said, Carol Lopez.

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TED May 17 2014 at 7:24 AM

what really bothers me about these killers is when it's time to sentence them to death (by any means possible) people start coming out of the woodwork saying that's inhumane. HOW MUCH DID THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR VICTIMS. THEY SHOULD REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BE PUT TO DEATH. THERE'S NO WAY THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE ON DEATHROW FOR 20 OR 25 YEARS

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2 replies
Tammy TED May 17 2014 at 8:41 AM

I agree completely.

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lakearcher TED May 17 2014 at 9:06 AM


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Maddy May 17 2014 at 6:45 AM

Its definitely someone who knew them because they were too familiar in with entering the home without attracting the security guards. And yes, I agree women need some sort of firearm, I am considering one myself and take shooting lessons. SORRY but these are the days and times that we live in. I don't think my pepper spray will do it.

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1 reply
TomB Maddy May 17 2014 at 7:32 AM

Unbelievable. You agree that these people were murdered by someone who knew them, whom the victims trusted and voluntarily allowed into their home, victims who were not on guard with any firearms close at hand, for whom firing a gun at a human being was as far removed from their daily lives as performing an emergency appendectomy--yet, you believe that owning a gun would some how save you in a similar circumstance. What absolute drivel. You have, in fact, revealed to us the warped mentality of gun nuts and the insane belief that simply owning a gun wraps you in a security blanket.

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4 replies
hanlon1212 May 17 2014 at 2:18 AM



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1 reply
Ashleigh hanlon1212 May 17 2014 at 5:40 AM

Maybe they were arsewholes. Maybe their family member hated them. It was definitely someone who knew them well that killed them.

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1 reply
naojf22936 Ashleigh May 17 2014 at 6:38 AM

Didn't have to be a family member...or someone they knew. Could have a been a drugged filled person acting out. You surely know that Americans are hooked on drugs....legal and illegal.

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jsduwilco May 17 2014 at 2:45 AM

What the hell is wrong with America this crap goes on day after day

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3 replies
lifeisgreat2day May 17 2014 at 1:10 AM

SOMETHING SMELLS rotten about these murders! Something is VERY WRONG here! Family is usually the first to suspect! This is down right crazy to harm these elderly people! GOD please help the Police find the person or persons who murdered these elderly people! AMEN! I wonder if there was a life insurance policy? Who would benefit financially from their deaths? I'm sure the Police are deep into looking at those of interest who might benefit from these deaths. I PRAY THEY FIND WHO DID THIS EVIL KILLING! Death penalty for them.... for sure! An eye for an eye and tooth for tooth!

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1 reply
LilAnnie2012 lifeisgreat2day May 17 2014 at 2:22 AM

I'm sure the police have already been investigating family and friends. They would suspect family first and like you said, "Who would benefit financially from their deaths?" The police won't be details available to the public. They don't think it was random, clue to us.....they have their ideas! They'll catch them, wait and see. They lived by the lake on lakefront property, elderly, probably had money. Grandchild or written-out-of-the -will grown child. Pissed off grandkid or......I'm guessing!

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Karen May 17 2014 at 1:05 AM

Human beings are the most dispicable creatures on the planet. I sincerely hope karma catches up to those responsible and does that "thrice" thing on them. And soon.

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1 reply
zweepz Karen May 17 2014 at 9:26 AM

Do not include me in that assessment. You may be despicable, but I most certainly am not.

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Ashleigh May 17 2014 at 5:36 AM

ALL of you sane women out there: CONCEAL CARRY! Learn to shoot and practice tactical!!! You will be protected by yourself.

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2 replies
naojf22936 Ashleigh May 17 2014 at 6:34 AM

Won't help at all...IF...overpowered. Conceal and carry is fear...and fear defeats more people than anything else. Shame on you, Ashleigh...what would one do if attacked from behind or caught off guard.

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2 replies
Angela9 naojf22936 May 17 2014 at 7:31 AM

Kick him where it hurts! then blow his brains out!

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Allen Cat naojf22936 May 17 2014 at 8:44 AM

Guns have been proven to fend off attackers in many cases. Will they prevent a surprise attack, likely not. A gun will not help in every instance like anything else. Many times guns WILL stop the perps.
Shame on you ******* for berating Ashleigh for thinking of protecting herself. You go ahead and continue to be a good liberal and bow down to the criminals

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Angela9 Ashleigh May 17 2014 at 7:30 AM

I agree 100%. This is the only way we have to protect ourselves. Gov Deal signed into law that we can carry our guns just about everywhere and I am so glad he did. Those that obummer let go; I am certain some will show up in GA and we will be ready and armed!

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Heather May 17 2014 at 12:32 AM

Two comments, the elderly get no respect...and just think, we shall all be elderly, if we are lucky to live that long....God, this country has gone to the

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missbea717 May 17 2014 at 1:08 PM

What in the world must those poor older couple have spent there last moments like, to live 87 yrs then to die like that. So sad what kind of monsters would do such a thing, your parents must be so proud, losers!!!! Only thing we could hope for is that Karma gets them good!!!! Thoughts and prayers to there family.

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1 reply
romag46 missbea717 May 17 2014 at 8:57 PM

My exact thoughts when I heard about it. So sad imdeed. just hope they catch them fast.

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