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Crime & Courts

Sheriff: Central Georgia man likely beheaded after slaying; wife is missing, feared abducted

Man Killed Wife Missing.JPEG

This undated photo provided by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office shows Shirley Dermond. A central Georgia sheriff has requested help from the FBI as authorities search for Dermond, who they fear was abducted around the time her husband was decapitated in their lakefront home. Friends found the body of 88-year-old Russell Dermond in the garage of the home on Lake Oconee on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. His wife, 87-year-old Shirley Dermond, is missing. (AP Photo/Courtesy Putnam County Sheriff’s Office) (The Associated Press)

A central Georgia sheriff says an elderly man who was found dead earlier this week may have been killed before he was decapitated.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said Thursday that 88-year-old Russell Dermond's head and the man's 87-year-old wife, Shirley Dermond, were missing when police were called to the couple's lakefront home in a gated community on Lake Oconee.

Sills said during a press conference that the man's exact cause of death is unclear, and no weapons have been recovered.

Sills says it's unclear whether the man was killed in the garage where he was found, and his autopsy is being performed in Atlanta.

Sills says authorities have very few leads in the case and investigators fear that Dermond's wife may have been abducted.

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