EATONTON, Ga. — Almost daily for the previous six years, Putnam County Sheriff Howard R. Sills has performed some form of investigative work regarding the unsolved double-murder case of Russell and Shirley Dermond.
Sills talked with brokers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday concerning the case and the way expertise that wasn’t but developed six years in the past is perhaps helpful to authorities in fixing the case.
“We met and talked about three hours at present about this case,” Sills advised The Union-Recorder earlier this week. “We talked about some technological stuff that we’re engaged on proper now.”
Sills stated he couldn’t elaborate on what was mentioned with FBI brokers from the Macon discipline workplace, nevertheless.
“We regarded again over among the crime scene images and talked about a variety of issues throughout our assembly,” Sills stated. “Quite a lot of what we talked about regarding expertise was about what is out there at present that wasn’t accessible primarily then.”
Sills stated they re-examined features of the case, in addition to timelines to see whether or not among the expertise in place at present may assist going ahead with the investigation.
Sills stated he didn’t know if he would describe the dialog as promising, “however something is a step ahead at this level.”
When requested if among the expertise was the best way to go at the moment, since different concepts have been exhausted, Sills rapidly replied.
“I might trip my bicycle from right here (Eatonton) to McIntyre (in Wilkinson County) backward with thumbtacks in my butt if I believed it might clear up this case,” Sills stated.
Sills stated this case has baffled him greater than another homicide in his profession.
“As soon as I knew the backgrounds of Russell and Shirley Dermond, I’ve all the time thought that this was some form of extortion,” Sills advised the newspaper. “Mrs. Dermond might need been taken and held in opposition to her will till some form of demand was made. And since that demand couldn’t be glad, each she and her husband have been killed. And now, that’s my intestine feeling, and do I’ve any proof to help that — no. However, I can’t discover anybody who had an ax to grind with them and I can’t discover any connections to any sort of legal enterprise or different exercise, in any way.”
Sills stated he has found no proof indicating that the killings have been carried out randomly by anybody driving via the gated space or developing by boat to the couple’s million-dollar dwelling.
“Clearly, there was greater than an individual concerned,” Sills stated.
The aged couple, who lived within the prosperous gated group of Nice Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Putnam County, was brutally slain someday over the weekend of the Kentucky Derby in Could 2014.
The 88-year-old Russell Dermond, a World Battle II veteran, is believed to have been shot within the head and was beheaded afterward. His spouse, Shirley, was crushed to loss of life and her physique taken six miles away by boat to one of many deepest parts of Lake Oconee. Her physique was anchored by two 30-pound cinder blocks that have been positioned right into a nylon bag after which thrown into the lake, in response to Sills.
“It was a synthetic-type bag,” Sills stated. “That bag was tied to her ft.”
Russell Dermond’s head has by no means been discovered. His physique was found by neighbors within the storage of the couple’s dwelling.
The veteran sheriff stated among the proof, together with two towels discovered across the corpse of Russell Dermond, had been of worth to them.
“The towels belonged to the Dermonds and, sure, there was different proof discovered on the scene, however I can’t go into any of that proof,” Sills stated. “I’ll simply say that there was precious proof that we now have but to match as much as something.”
The sheriff stated he believes Russell Dermond’s head was severed by some “very sharp” instrument.
Sills stated he believes he is aware of the reply.
“If Russell Dermond was shot within the head like we consider was the case, there’s probably a bullet inside and if that weapon that was used to kill him was used to commit one other crime and that case received solved, then the bullet from that weapon might be used to match it again to the killing of Russell Dermond,” Sills stated. “I believe the top was taken and discarded to stop proof from being obtained from it.”
Sills, who has helped clear up dozens of homicide instances throughout his profession, stated he believes it was the intent of the killers that the physique of 87-year-old Shirley Dermond would by no means resurface.
He stated he additionally believes that when Shirley Dermond’s physique was tossed into the lake, the killers might simply have thrown Russell Dermond’s head into the lake on the similar time.
“We used among the most superior underwater digital gear that the Georgia Division of Pure Sources Legislation Enforcement Division has in an try to seek out Shirley Dermond’s physique, in addition to the top of her husband,” Sills stated. “However there’s no manner for us to go looking all of Lake Oconee to attempt to discover the lacking head. It’s not possible.”
It initially had been thought by authorities that Shirley had presumably been kidnapped and brought from her dwelling for ransom.
The FBI, who has assisted the Putnam County Sheriff’s Workplace within the investigation, launched an intensified search, putting Shirley Dermond’s picture on digital billboards all through the world, however acquired no data.
Ten days later, Shirley Dermond’s physique surfaced close to the place two males have been fishing in a ship on the lake, simply inside Greene County.
The case stays as a lot a thriller at present and is it did when the crimes first occurred.
Anybody with details about this unsolved double-murder is requested to name the Putnam County Sheriff’s Workplace at 706-485-8557.