A chilling text message supposedly sent by a missing mom before she was found dead was far more sinister than a plea for help, a private investigator has claimed.
Debbie Collier, 59, is believed to have wired her daughter more than $2,000 via Venmo on September 10 and warned, “They are not going to let me go.”
Collier was found dead on Sept. 11 in a ravine in Habersham County near a burned tarp and a tote bag. She was partially naked and her clothes were burned when the body was found.
Deputies said Collier vanished from her Athens home on Sept. 10. Her husband told police he’d last seen his wife around 9 p.m. the night before when she went to bed. He said her rental van was still in the driveway when he left for work, so he assumed she was at home.
Now her daughter has come forward to claim that her mother suffered from mental health problems.
Collier’s daughter, Amanda Bearden, told police that around 3 p.m. on Sept. 10, her mother sent her $2,385 via Venmo and the following message:
“They are not going to let me go love you there is a key in the house in the blue flower pot by the door (SIC).”
Bearden said she tried calling her mother, but she didn’t answer. Bearden said her mother only took her debit card and driver’s license with her.
On Sept. 11, police tracked Collier’s rental van to Habersham County using her satellite radio service.
Deputies found a Chrysler Pacifica pulled over on the side of a wooded area along State Road15 near Tallulah Falls with no one inside. The van was more than 60 miles from Collier’s home.
Bearden arrived at the scene after her satellite radio service notified her that the car had been found, and told deputies her mother had a bad back and couldn’t walk far.
Steve Collier, the husband, told investigators that he last saw his wife at 9 pm on September 10. He said her car was still in the driveway when he left for work the following morning.
Days later, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video from a Family Dollar in Rabun County showing Collier buying items similar to those that her body was found with.
At a news conference in September, deputies said they were investigating Collier’s death as an act that “was deliberate and personal.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that Collier’s cause of death was inhalation of superheated gases, thermal injuries, and hydrocodone intoxication.
Watch the latest update on the case: