Missing mom Debbie Collier found dead, cryptic text sent to daughter a clue on what may have happened

Police have ruled the death of an Athens, Georgia woman a homicide after locating her body in a ravine 60 miles from her home, amid reports of a chilling text sent to her daughter after her disappearance.

Debbie Collier, 59, who was reported missing on September 10, sent her daughter more than $2,000 and a cryptic message, leading police to believe she may have been the victim of a violent kidnapping, according to reports.

“Collier’s daughter, Amanda Bearden, 36, told Athens Clarke County Police that, that afternoon her mother had suddenly sent her $2,385 through Venmo, along with a message to her, ‘They are not going to let me go, love you,'” according to 11Alive.

Bearden told police the message “scared and worried her” and she tried calling her mother but could not reach her.

After repeated phone calls went unanswered, Bearden filed a missing person’s report, according to reporting by Now Habersham.

Bearden told police that her mother left with only her driver’s license and debit card, which was very “unusual,” adding to their worry.

Local police tracked Collier’s rented SUV through the SiriusXM radio service to Georgia 15 and US 441, just south of the main entrance of the Victory Home addiction recovery center in Tallulah Falls, where a Habersham County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team located her body nearby, the New York Post reported.

“The black Chrysler Pacifica was found parked on the side of the highway within plain sight of passing cars. In the adjoining woods, a K9 unit located a red tote bag and partially-burned blue tarp,” Now Habersham reported.

“Further search resulted in locating the body of a female subject down an embankment close to where the bag and tarp were located,” HCSO Col. Murray Kogod said.

“The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, coroner’s office, and State Fire Marshal’s Office were notified of the discovery and responded to the scene,” according to Now Habersham. “Investigators also notified Collier’s family. Several family members, including her husband, stood nearby as authorities removed her remains from the scene.”

Investigators recovered her body and secured the SUV on September 11 but a week later, few details have been released and many questions remain unanswered.

“What had brought Debbie Collier to that area of Habersham County, so far from her Athens home?” 11Alive asked. “Who would have attacked her? Was she killed where her body was found, or somewhere else and taken there?”

Collier’s husband Steven Collier “told police he last saw his wife around 9 p.m. on September 9 as he was going to bed. When he left for work Saturday morning, he said her vehicle was still in the driveway,” Now Habersham reported.

The front office manager at Carriage House Realty in Athens, Georgia, married her husband in 2013, and “her Facebook feed focused on family, and hiking trips with her husband, and sharing uplifting, spiritual encouragement,” according to 11Alive.

Family and friends have declined to comment on Collier’s life and details of her disappearance as they await autopsy results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations medical examiner.


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