On September 9, Debbie Collier left her home in Athens, Georgia, in a rented SUV with only her driver’s license and a debit card.
It was the last time her family would see her alive.
Two days later, on September 11, Collier’s body was found in a ravine.
Her daughter, 36-year-old Amanda Bearden, reported 59-year-old Collier missing on September 10, telling Athens Clarke County Police that earlier in the afternoon, her mother had sent her $2,385 over Venmo along with the message: “They are not going to let me go, love you.”
“There is a key to the house in the blue flower pot by the door,” Collier added, according to a police report obtained by People.
Bearden told police that she immediately tried to call her mother’s phone after she received the message, but Collier didn’t pick up. After she reported her mother’s disappearance, police also tried to call Collier’s phone, to no avail.
Bearden and her father also told police that it was “unusual for Deborrah to do this” and that she “has not done anything like this before.”
Police were able to use the Sirius XM satellite radio in Collier’s SUV to track her movements after she left her home that Friday. They tracked the SUV to an area off U.S. 441, 60 miles north of where Collier lived, and alerted the Habersham County Sheriff’s office, which searched the area. Using a K-9 unit, police searched the woods near where the SUV was discovered and found Collier’s body in a ravine that could not be seen from the highway, WXIA-TV reported.
The outlet noted that investigators aren’t revealing much about Collier’s last hours alive but did say they are treating her death as a homicide and not a suicide. At this time, they are basing their investigation on what Bearden said when she reported her mother missing, including the disturbing text message suggesting Collier had been kidnapped.
Questions remain regarding Collier’s death, such as why she was 60 miles away from her home when she died and whether she was killed in that area or elsewhere and merely taken to that place by her killer or killers. Finally, and most importantly, who would have kidnapped and/or killed Debbie Collier, and why?
Collier worked as the front office manager for Carriage House Realty in Athens and had been married to her current husband since 2013.