Everything you need to know
The sudden disappearance and death of Athens woman Debbie Collier has shocked the people of Georgia and the entire country.
Details about the woman’s body found in woodland in Habersham have raised questions about her whereabouts and death.
While there aren’t many concrete investigative details surrounding the woman’s early disappearance, here’s everything we know about the case:
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Who was Debbie Collier?
Deborrah Todd Collier was a 59-year-old resident of Athens, police said.
Police identified Collier’s older daughter as Amanda Bearden. She told investigators that her mother had no history of mental illness and that she had a “bad back,” indicating to law enforcement that she could not walk for long distances.
Carriage House Realty, Inc. in Athens has hired Debbie Collier as a Front Office Manager, according to the website. The company’s social media did not publicly acknowledge Debbie Collier’s death until September 22.
Debbie Collier appears to have shared a Facebook account with her husband, Steve Collier.
Collier was a Georgia Bulldogs football fan, according to public Facebook posts.
When did Debbie Collier disappear?
Collier was reported missing from Athens on Sept. 10. Her daughter, Amanda Bearden, told investigators that her mother’s car was in the shop at the time and she left the house in a rented Chrysler Pacifica SUV, with only her license and credit card. .
Based on the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Athens-Clarke County police received assistance from Habersham deputies on Sept. 11.
When and where was Debbie Collier found?
Athens-Clarke County Police have released more shocking details about the death of Debbie Collier. It’s the woman who was found naked, partially burned, dead and “caught by a small tree” in the woods.
On the afternoon of September 11, Habersham County deputies and officers from the Tallulah Falls Police Department responded to the Ga. area. Highway 15 in Clarkesville where Collier’s vehicle was reported.
A police sergeant found a car parked in an apparent “pull” that led to an old road outside of Ga. northbound Highway 15, according to the crash report.
A Tallulah Falls police officer told investigators that the vehicle was in the same area around 5 p.m. on Sept. 10. In the investigation report, the officer said it is common for vehicles to enter the area.
The car was unlocked and empty, according to the investigation report.
Law enforcement called the Georgia State Aviation Patrol to assist.
How did investigators use satellite radio to find Debbie Collier’s car?
An employee of Sirius XM contacted Habersham County Sheriff’s Office investigators on behalf of Athens-Clarke County police regarding the whereabouts of Debbie Collier’s vehicle.
The satellite radio provider says there is a signal coming from Ga. Highway 15 and Victory Home Lane in Clarkesville.
Not every car with Sirius XM is capable of being tracked by law enforcement.
Debbie Collier’s disappearance, drug-related death?
The report from the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office stated that the investigation indicated that the incident was drug related.
It is not known what type of drugs are involved and who is buying, selling or dealing the drugs.
What caused the death of Debbie Collier?
The GBI crime lab is disposing of Debbie Collier’s body and the contents of her car. Investigators’ results are still pending.
Investigators found her partially burned, naked and “holding a small tree,” according to police documents.
Underneath the scene, investigators found a blue tarp with burn marks, and “a naked woman lying on her back, holding a small tree with her right hand,” according to the incident report.
Investigators believe whoever was responsible tried to burn the body. Her remains were “apparently burned with what appeared to be burning in her stomach.”
Investigators said there was no evidence that Debbie Collier’s disappearance and death were related to abduction or suicide.
State law enforcement has not issued an alert about Debbie Collier’s disappearance, which sometimes occurs in active kidnapping situations.
Collier’s daughter told investigators her mother had no history of suicide.
How is Venmo connected to Debbie Collier’s death?
Athens-Clarke County Police Department investigators told Habersham County Sheriff’s Office deputies that the last known message from Debbie Collier was a Venmo transfer from an account owned by Steve Collier to Amanda Bearden, who police identified as Collier’s daughter.
The transfer message says, “They won’t let me love you. There’s a key to the house in the blue flower pot by the door.”
FOX 5 Atlanta obtained a photo of a Venmo transfer from Steve Collier to Amanda Bearden.
Police said the transfer was $2,385.
Based on past transactions, Debbie Collier may have access to her Venmo account.
Is there a suspect or person of interest in the death of Debbie Collier?
Investigators did not share information about a suspect or person of interest as of Sept. 22.
On Wednesday, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office said investigators executed several search warrants at locations directly connected to the victim.
Habersham County detectives also interviewed “those closest to the victim.”
“Upon receipt of the results and reports of all referrals and adjudicated records, sheriff’s office investigators will look to identify persons of interest for further follow-up and interview,” said a statement from the sheriff’s office.
Anyone with information is asked to call Habersham County Sheriff’s Office detectives Cale Garrison at 706-839-0559 or George Cason at 706-839-0560.
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