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New Timeline Emerges In Case Of Slain Mom Debbie Collier, Who Was Found Dead After Sending Daughter Mysterious Message
Georgia investigators shared new information about murder of Debbie Collier, who reportedly sent her daughter a mysterious Venmo payment before she was found dead.
New details are emerging about the murder of a Georgia woman whose nude remains were found in a wooded area after her family reported her missing earlier this month.
Earlier this week, authorities released video footage of Debbie Collier purchasing several items in a Family Dollar store in Clayton, Georgia shortly before 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, the last day she was seen alive. At a news conference Friday, the Habersham County Sheriff's Office expanded on the timeline surrounding Collier's disappearance, revealing that investigators had new footage confirming that the 59-year-old mother of two sat in the Family Dollar parking lot for 10 minutes after completing her shopping before driving off at 3:19 p.m.
"Please understand that this case is very complex in nature and has a lot of questions and unknowns that aren't found in a typical death investigation. It is going to take significantly more time than the 19 days that have passed since the discovery to solve this crime," Chief Deputy Murray Kogod said.
Investigators noted that they're still trying to confirm if a Venmo message and nearly $2,400 that was sent to Collier's daughter, Amanda Bearden, came from Collier's phone, which was found at the crime scene. The transaction was received at 3:17 p.m., which would have been while Collier was still sitting in her vehicle in the Family Dollar parking lot.
"There is a question there as far as, do we know where the money is now—no, we don't. For the simple fact that we're still obtaining information: when it was sent, where it was sent, what device it was sent from," detective George Cason said.
The Venmo message sent to Bearden and confirmed by Oxygen.com read, "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."
Detectives said that Bearden had lived in Maryland with her brother until Sept. 8. She was later seen visiting the Family Dollar store on Sept. 10, according to authorities.
At this time, authorities have not zeroed in on a suspect and are still awaiting a medical examiner's assessment on Collier's cause and manner of death. At this point, authorities are still treating the case as a homicide investigation.
"We have not ruled anyone out at this point. We have ever-developing leads and are gradually having information that we requested come in," Cason said.
While investigators initially suggested Collier's death was potentially drug-related, Kogod said, "At this time, the investigation is not leading in that direction."
Cason said they're treating this case as a homicide "because of the burns" found on Collier's body, which was located in a ravine 13 miles from the Family Dollar on Sept. 11, with Kogod adding that they believe the killing was "deliberate and personal."
According to an incident report previously reviewed by Oxygen.com Collier's remains were found nude around 12:44 p.m. on Sept. 11. She was grasping a small tree and there were burns on her stomach. Also at the crime scene were multiple items she bought at the Family Dollar store the day prior, including a reusable tote and blue tarp.
Collier's son Jeffrey Bearden asked that people respect their family's privacy as they mourn their loss. "My mother was persistent in her love throughout my entire life and I will persist until she is given the justice she deserves. Our lives have been irrevocably changed,” Bearden told The Daily Beast Sept. 26. “Our grief is here and our pain is deep.”
Anyone with information about her death is urged to contact the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.