PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. – In a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says the search for Shirley Dermond is continuing.
The FBI has offered a $20,000 rewardfor information in the case.
Last week, Russell Dermond, 88, was found dead at his home. He was decapitated, and his head was missing. His wife Shirley Dermond, 87, was missing.
About five or six acres of the Reynolds Plantation neighborhood near the Dermond home was thoroughly searched on Wednesday by about 60 or 70 sheriff's deputies from several area counties, along with 10 FBI agents. They did not find anything in their search.
The Department of Natural Resources' boat sonar and underwater vehicle search on Lake Oconee continues, but there have been no results so far.
Polygraph tests of maintenance crews who worked at the Dermond home have come back negative. Hundreds of fingerprints have been taken at the Dermond home, but those have also produced no results as of yet.
Officials said that based on their investigation, they have been able to narrow the time-frame of the crime 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.
Investigators are still looking for anyone who knew or came into contact with the couple.
Many leads have come in and been checked out, but no good leads have come about, according to Sills. He said nothing in the couple's background is suspicious or unusual.
Sills debunked several rumors that have surfaced in social media – including a note that there is no evidence of mob ties or ties to a witness protection program. He said that there was no connection with the drug-related murder of the Dermond's son in Atlanta 14 years ago.
Sills went on to say that while he is frustrated with the lack of good leads in the case thus far, he is not frustrated with the effort his investigators and other agencies have been putting into the case.