Debbie Collier, a 59-year-old mother from Georgia, sent a chilling and cryptic text message to her daughter before meeting a tragic and mysterious end. Clinging to a tree in a ditch, her lifeless and naked body was discovered, showing signs that she had been burned alive.
The bizarre message she sent to her daughter read, “They are not going to let me go. Love you,” raising questions about what could have led to such a gruesome outcome.
The events unfolded on September 10, 2022, when Debbie sent the unnerving message along with a payment of $2,385 to her daughter, Amanda Bearden. Now, the following day, Debbie’s desecrated remains were found in a small, steep ravine in a wooded area of Tallulah Falls, Georgia.
Amanda, aged 36, later revealed that her mother had struggled with mental health issues in the past.
Debbie’s message, which she sent through the cash payment app Venmo, also mentioned a key to the house hidden in a blue flower pot by the door. When Amanda attempted to call her mother after receiving the strange message, Debbie did not answer, and the call went to voicemail. Desperate for answers, Amanda reported her mother missing to the Athens Clarke County Police.
The investigator who discovered Debbie’s body described the harrowing scene, saying, “I observed a nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand.” They also noted charring on her abdomen and the presence of a burned blue tarp and red tote nearby. Authorities suspect that homicide, rather than suicide, was the cause of her death.
Georgia authorities involved in the case believe that Debbie may have been the victim of a violent kidnapping before her clothes were stripped and her body was left in the ditch. Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Col. Murray Kogod said, “Further search resulted in locating the body of a female subject down an embankment close to where the bag and tarp were located.”
Investigators learned that on the day of her disappearance, Debbie had rented an SUV and left her home carrying only her debit card and driver’s license. Thanks to its SiriusXM satellite radio, fortunately, they managed to track down the SUV’s location and found it sixty miles north of Debbie’s home in Athens, Georgia. An autopsy will be conducted to determine her cause of death.
Debbie is survived by her adult daughter, Amanda, and her husband, Steve, whom she married in 2013. She had worked as an office manager at Carriage House Realty in Athens, Georgia, for several years. Steve last saw his wife at 9 pm on the night before she vanished without a trace, leaving her family and friends to mourn her loss and wonder what could have led to such a tragic and inexplicable end.
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