Exploring the lake entry theory in Dermond murder

Investigators in the murder of 88-year-old Russell Dermond still have no idea how intruders were able to enter their million-dollar Putnam County home without any signs of entry.

One theory is that an intruder or intruders may have entered the property by boat, because Reynolds Plantation is a gated community.

Boater Randy Kern, a Putnam County native who helped build the lake and dam in the 1970s, says that's very plausible.

There are multiple public access points to the lake, which spans four counties, and many of them are open at night.

He says once on the water, boats can reach many private docks. Would-be-intruders would also be able to slip away undetected because night time boaters aren't suspicious. Many people are out fishing on Lake Oconee at all hours of the night.

Sheriff Howard Sills says he believes the Dermonds were specifically targeted in the crime. Kern agrees, and says whoever committed the crime would have had to know exactly where they were going, because navigating the lake can be difficult at night.

The Dermonds' home had its own dock, but the couple had not owned a boat of their own in several years.

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge


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