Lake Oconee murder mystery - CBS46 News

Lake Oconee murder mystery

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Four years ago a brutal crime horrified a community and investigators when an elderly couple was murdered. 

The couple, 88-year-old Russell Dermond and his 87-year-old wife Shirley Dermond, were murdered in their home in May of 2014. 

Russell's headless body was found in the couple's garage and Shirley's body was later found floating in Lake Oconee.

"What a dark dark moment that was and when they knew ultimately what was about to take place and what they endured," says Brad Dermond, one of the couple's four children. 

It's four years later and Brad can't stop thinking about the last moments his parents must have endured.

"It's something you just think about ... you never stop thinking about, wake up thinking about it go to bed thinking about it."

The call from Putnam County Sheriff Deputies, the never ending drive to get there and ultimately the horrific scene Brad and his siblings saw when they arrived at their parents house. 

"Why they felt like they needed to do what they did to each of my parents is still such a huge question."

It was this same house that the Dermond children and their their children had traveled to often. 

"They lived there about ten years prior to their passing, they purchased that lake front lot four plus years prior to that and had kind of a struggle deciding if they were ultimately going to move out there."

Brad remember always being greeted by a very patriotic, hones, intelligent father and a religious, sharp as a tack, good mother. 

 "Private people but they did have a really strong circle of friends there, it was camp Dermond. As kids, grand kids, we found ourselves there very often."

As a young man Russell served in the Navy, dabbled in corporate work and ultimately fast food, which brought the family to Atlanta. 

"He had a real knack where he developed some of those skills it's still a question in my mind he had a great sense for people."

Brad tells CBS46 his mother liked to write and read.  

"My mother was again very involved in church had a great circle of friends avid bridge player both mom and dad were up until a year or two of their passing were heavily involved in golfing."

Growing up the family moved around quite a nit but remained tight knit.

"For my childhood standpoint it was perfectly normal, we did all the things normal families do, sports, church apply ourselves at school kind of a thing."

Originally from New Jersey, the Dermond's had four children, though the oldest, Mark was murdered on his 50th birthday. He suffered from drug and alcohol abuse

"My dad was always trying to from moment it started to his death he was always there doing whatever he thought was best to try to help him whether that was the thing to do or not remains unknown."

Never did the Dermond children imaging another tragedy, this time their health and private parents.

Brad says the family is still close but this unsolved case is all they talk about now, especially ways this could have been prevented.

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