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A recent report reveals the grisly details surrounding the presumed homicide of a missing Georgia woman.
Deborrah "Debbie" Todd Collier, 59, vanished from her Athens home on Sept. 10, sometime before she allegedly sent an unprompted Venmo payment for $2,385 to her adult daughter, Amanda Bearden, 36. According to Bearden, the payment came with a message from Collier stating, “They are not going to let me go, love you.”
It would be Collier’s last known communication with her family.
Bearden reported both Collier and her rental car — a black 2022 Chrysler Pacifica SUV — missing to the Athens-Clarke Police Department, who put out an alert for the missing woman and her vehicle. According to Atlanta’s WSB-TV, Collier’s regular car was in for repairs following a car accident.
Bearden reported that Collier left with only her driver’s license and credit card.
At around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, SiriusXM contacted police in Habersham County to let them know the system in the car had been traced to a wooded area near Victory Home Lane in Clarkesville — part of Habersham County, Georgia, about 50 miles north of Athens.
According to an incident report from the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office reviewed by Oxygen.com, investigators described the area as a “pull-off that leads to an old logging road” off Georgia State Route 15.
Officers from nearby Tallulah Falls were dispatched to inspect the unlocked and unoccupied vehicle. One of them went into the “woodline” to see if there were any signs of Collier, but saw none.
Waiting on K9 units and other agencies to arrive, including Georgia State Patrol Aviation, Amanda Bearden — alerted to the location by Athens-Clarke authorities — arrived at the scene in a “hysterical state.”
Bearden relayed to authorities that her mother was was not suicidal and had no history of mental health concerns. However, Collier reportedly had a bad back and wasn’t capable of walking long distances.
Investigators, including Habersham County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ethan Neal, soon entered the wood with the K9 units, which led them to an uprooted tree and the “remains of a fire.”
Nearby was a “red tote bag laid on its side.”
“As Sgt. Neal approached the fire, he looked further down the embankment,” according to the incident report. “Sgt. Neal observed what appeared to be a partially burnt, blue in color tarp.”
Further down the embankment, Neal reportedly then saw a “nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand.” The woman, identified as Collier, was “apparently burned,” with “what appeared to be charring to her abdomen.”
The Habersham County Deputy Coroner collected Collier’s body for a postmortem examination, during which her cause of death will be determined.
So far, authorities have released no information pertaining to a possible suspect or person of interest in the case.
Debbie Collier’s husband, Steven, told investigators he last saw his wife on Sept. 9 at around 9:00 p.m., when he went to bed. According to WSB-TV, the pair slept in separate rooms due to the husband’s snoring.
Mr. Collier reported that his wife's rental car was still in the driveway when he left for work the following morning.
Nothing seemed amiss until Collier allegedly sent the Venmo payment and mysterious message to her daughter. According to the recently-released incident report, the text also included “something to the effect” that Collier’s house key could be found underneath a flower pot.
Subsequent calls to Collier’s phone went unanswered and there is nothing in the report about authorities being able to track it.
Neighbors in the area remain on high alert since the disappearance of Collier, who reportedly worked as the front office manager for Carriage House Realty, according to WSB-TV.
“I’m just gonna start looking at people here different,” said local man Alan Roberts. “Even in the foothills of the mountains, it’s not as safe as we always thought it was.”
Authorities urge anyone with information to contact the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.
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