4 years later and still no arrest in elderly couple's murder

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — It’s a case that still haunts a local sheriff. A murderer may still be on the run after killing an elderly couple some four years ago.

This week marks the four-year anniversary of the deaths of Russell and Shirley Durmond at their Putman County home.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills spoke with Channel 2's Justin Wilfon on Friday night about how he said he is constantly working on the case to solve it.

A map of the crime scene still sits in Sills’ office as a constant reminder that the case is never far away.

“We desperately, desperately need someone to do the right thing here and tell us who did this,” Sills told Wilfon.


In May 2014, Russell Dermond was found decapitated at the couple's Lake Oconee home. Days later, Shirley Dermond’s body was found floating in the lake. Sills said she had been beaten to death.

“The perpetrators of this crime will do anything. They’re dangerous people and they don’t need to be out there,” Sills said.

After four years of following countless leads, Sills told Wilfon he still doesn’t know why the couple was killed.

“There’s certainly nothing in the background of this couple that would cause somebody to do this, unless there’s some deep dark secret that I don’t know,” Sills said.

Sills told Wilfon he now tries to generate new leads in the case by looking for similar cases across the country.

“If there’s a case in another state that’s even remotely similar, I’m on the phone, one of my detectives are on the phone, talking to the police agency, wherever that is,” Sills said.

Four years after their deaths, Sills still believes he’s just one tip away from finding justice for the Dermonds.

“We need that call. Somebody knows who did this,” Sills said.

Sills asked anyone who has information about the case to call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.