Police in central Georgia are investigating the alleged murder of an elderly man and also searching for his wife, who they fear might have been abducted from the couple's lakeside home.
Putnam County authorities say they were called to the home of Russell and Shirley Dermond around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Sheriff Howard Sills said friends of the Dermonds who had gone to the house found a body believed to be that of 88-year-old Russell Dermond.
A law enforcement source told WSB-TV that Dermond was beheaded and the head was not found at the crime scene.
Shirley Dermond, 87, was not at the home, and investigators believe she may have been abducted.
Because the neighborhood is so secure, officials say it's possible that someone the Howard's knew may have committed the crime because there was no signs of forced entry and absolutely nothing was taken from the home.
It's also likely they killers entered the home from the lake.
"I'm not optimistic given the fact of her husband's circumstances, holding out hope for the family," Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said.
"We still approach this as if she's been abducted and we pray that she is alive but we don't know anything about where Ms. Dermond is," Sills added.
Sills said its very hard to track Dermond because her wallet, cellphone, purse and car were all left behind.
Sills said he has not seen a homicide in nearly a decade and there has not been a home invasion in 18 years.
Residents said the Dermonds were good people, who moved to the home about 12 years ago after retiring. They retired after owning a chain of fast food restaurants.
The sheriff said the crime happened sometime between Friday and Sunday.