Putnam sheriff: Different weapons used to kill couple

Different weapons were apparently used to kill an elderly Putnam County man and his wife last month, authorities said Wednesday.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told Channel 2 Action News that he has evidence indicating the killer used two different weapons during last month's slayings of 88-year-old Russell Dermond and his 87-year-old wife, Shirley.

Russell Dermond's beheaded body was found May 2 inside the couple's Lake Oconee home. Shirley Dermond's body was discovered by fishermen two weeks later in the lake.

“I don’t believe they were killed with the same weapon,” Sills told Channel 2. “I won’t elaborate on what the murder weapons were.”

Sills said he expects a $30,000 reward offered this week for information leading to an arrest and conviction to grow.

“This is a very difficult case, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have forensic evidence,” Sills said.

“We’re running down leads,” the sheriff said. “We’ve got fingerprints, we’ve got hairs, we’ve got fibers, we’ve got all manner of forensic evidence that we’ve collected from the house.”

The sheriff’s office has set up a hotline for tips in the case. That number is 706-485-8557.