Debbie Collier, the Georgia mom who was found dead by a reported suicide, had burn marks on 80% of her body, her autopsy revealed.
The autopsy report, obtained by the New York Post, revealed that Collier’s injuries were more extensive than previously known. The report said that Collier died from “inhalation of superheated gases, thermal injuries and a hydrocodone intoxication.” Due to a back injury, Collier regularly took the painkiller hydrocodone, which was prescribed by a doctor.
“Autopsy examination revealed thermal injuries of the external body surface and of the traceal mucosa (windpipe), no deposited soot in the airway, and no significant elevation of blood carboxyhemoglobin,” the autopsy said, adding that “no other significant injuries were noted.”
“These findings may be due to a sudden, intense ‘flash’ fire, as well as the outdoor environment of the fire,” the report said, according to the Post.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation wrote that a melted gas can was found near the burn site, but there are still some oddities involving Collier’s death. Collier was found naked, slightly downhill from where the fire originated, and was holding onto the base of a small tree with her right hand.
Collier left the home she shared with her husband, Steve, on September 10. Later that day, she sent her daughter, 36-year-old Amanda Bearden, a chilling text that said, “They are not going to let me go, love you.” Collier also sent Bearden $2,385 over Venmo.
In late September, police released surveillance footage of Collier entering the Family Dollar Store in Clayton, Georgia, on Saturday, September 10. She was alone in the video. The HCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) said in a press release on September 26 that Collier entered the store on September 10 around 2:55 p.m. and exited at 3:09 p.m. While there, Collier appeared calm and “not in fear of anything,” the CID said in its press release. Authorities said she purchased a rain poncho, a refillable torch lighter, paper towels, a large tarp, and a reusable tote back.
Collier was found in a ravine 60 miles from her Athens, Georgia, home on September 11, with severe burns to her body and the remains of a burned tarp nearby, The Daily Wire previously reported. The Habersham County Sheriff’s office said in its incident report that an investigator “observed a nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand,” about 30 feet from the road. The report also said Collier had “charring to her abdomen.”
Originally, Georgia police suggested that Collier’s death was “personal and targeted,” but no suspects were ever named and later declared it was a suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free hotline for individuals in crisis or distress or for those looking to help someone else. It is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.