Putnam County Coroner Gary McElhenney told 13WMAZ that authorities pulled the body of an elderly woman from Lake Oconee. He said the body is possibly that of Shirley Dermond, 87.
The body was found in the lake on Friday in the middle of the dam by a fisherman, McElhenney said.
On May 5, the body of 88-year-old Russell Dermond was found decapitated in the garage of his home in the Great Waters community at Lake Oconee. His head has not been recovered, according to Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills. His 87-year-old wife, Shirley, has been missing ever since.
The body pulled from the water on Friday was about 5 to 6 miles away from the couple's home.
At a news conference Friday evening Sills said he couldn't say with certainty that the body is Shirley Dermond's. The body "fits her description, hair color and markings on her body."
Sills said there were no signs of trauma to the body, but "the extent of the decomposition makes it hard to tell," he added.
The decomposition of the body is consistent with the timeline in which her husband was killed.
Officials said that based on their investigation, they have been able to narrow the time-frame of Russell Dermond's murder to somewhere between 4:30 p.m., on Friday, May 2 – when the mail was delivered – to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, when the couple did not show up for a party.
The body found in the lake Friday is being taken to the state crime lab in Atlanta.
Previous searches of the area and of the lake had yielded no clues as to Shirley Dermond's whereabouts. Investigators have said they have no leads in Russell Dermond's murder yet. Anyone with information is asked to call the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 706-485-8557.