Decapitation mystery nears 6-month anniversary

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Thursday marks six months since neighbors discovered 88-year-old retiree Russell Dermond’s decapitated body in the garage of his Lake Oconee home. The body of his 87-year-old wife, Shirley Dermond, was found 10 days later by fishermen about five miles away. The gruesome whodunnit captured national headlines and seemed certain to rank as the year’s most sensational story. Then, in late June, Cobb police arrested Ross Harris, accused of intentionally leaving his 22-month-old son Cooper Harris inside his hot car to die.

sillsThe media may have moved on but Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills continues to work the case, though he acknowledges he’s not much closer to resolution today than he was on May 6.

“The more I dig, the less I find,” said Sills, a widely respected lawman and a reporter’s dream.

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more candid source, particularly in law enforcement. Sills, whom I profiled in late May, tells it like it is — if only I could share some of his off-the-record comments.

Check myajc.com on Thursday for an inside look at the Dermond investigation, which still fascinates despite the lack of substantial leads.

Follow me on Twitter at @ReporterJCB