Georgia police search for elderly widow of decapitated man

ATLANTA Fri May 9, 2014 12:21am EDT

Shirley Dermond is shown in this Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo released in Eatonton, Georgia on May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Putnam County Sheriff's Office/Handout

Shirley Dermond is shown in this Putnam County Sheriff's Office photo released in Eatonton, Georgia on May 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Putnam County Sheriff's Office/Handout

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia police were searching on Thursday for a missing elderly woman whose husband was found beheaded in their home.

Friends of the couple found the body of Russell Dermond, 88, on Tuesday at the couple's home in the upscale Great Waters Community on Lake Oconee in central Georgia, police said.

His wife Shirley Dermond, 87, was missing and is believed to have been abducted, police said.

Dermond's head has not been found, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said at a Thursday news conference. An autopsy was pending.

Police were interviewing friends, family and neighbors.

Police believe the murder and abduction took place between Friday and Sunday. Shirley Dermond is described as white, 5'2" tall and weighing 148 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes.

Putnam County tax records show the Dermonds' 3,200-square-foot, lakeside home is valued at slightly more than $1 million.

The Dermonds moved to the lake 12 years ago after selling a chain of fast-food restaurants, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta.

(Reporting by David Beasley in Atlanta and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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