Decapitation mystery | Russell Dermond was World War II vet, golfer

Son of missing Putnam woman doesn't believe she's alive

Russell Dermond was a United States Navy veteran from Hackensack, N.J., who served in World War II. He loved golf, books, walks and time spent with family and friends. He was a member of Oconee Community Church.

Those were some of the details contained in an online obituary for Dermond, the 88-year-old man whose decapitated body was found 10 days ago in the garage of his home inside Reynolds Plantation, a gated community located about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta. His head and his 87-year-old wife were nowhere to be found. Putnam County investigators believe Shirley Dermond was abducted and doubt she will be found alive.

In an interview Thursday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Keith Dermond, the couple's 55-year-old son, said he and his two surviving siblings are resigned they'll never see their parents again. Russell and Shirley Dermond's oldest son, Mark Dermond, was killed in 2000 while trying to buy crack cocaine in Atlanta. Investigators do not believe there is any connection between that incident and Russell Dermond's murder.

Russell Dermond’s funeral is on hold until Shirley Dermond is found, Keith Dermond told The AJC. Williams Funeral Home of Eatonton is in charge of arrangements. The funeral will be private, according to the online obituary, which includes Shirley Dermond, Russell Dermond’s “wife of 68 years,” in the list of survivors.

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