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Body in lake likely that of missing 87-year-old Ga. woman; husband was slain and beheaded

Police say they have likely found the body of a missing 87-year-old Georgia woman whose husband was discovered slain and decapitated in the couple's home.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said Friday that a body believed to be that of Shirley Dermond was found in Lake Oconnee.

A crime laboratory will definitively determine the identification and establish the cause of death. However, Sills said the body matched the general description of Dermond and had similar surgical scars.

Her husband, 88-year-old Russell Dermond, was found decapitated May 6 at the couple's home in their exclusive gated community.

Sills said the body was found five to six miles from the couple's home. Police now suspect 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.

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