Federal authorities have joined the investigation of the brutal murder of an elderly Georgia man and the disappearance of his wife, CNN reports.
Russell Dermond, 88, was found decapitated in his suburban Atlanta home on Tuesday by friends concerned about his and his wife’s whereabouts. Shirley Dermond is reportedly missing, while Dermond’s head has not yet been recovered.
The gated community where the couple shared a million-dollar home is typically safe, authorities and residents have told news outlets. But when the Dermonds failed to attend a Kentucky Derby party last weekend, friends and neighbors grew worried.
Investigators, however, do not believe the act was random. Valuables including wallets, a purse, and both of their cellphones were found in the house. Shirley Dermond, 87, is described as a 5-foot-2 gray haired woman who weighs about 148 pounds. Authorities believe she was abducted and have begun searching for her.
“I don’t think it’s a random incident,” Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said, according to CNN. “I think for whatever reason these people were singled out for this.”