Cops have discovered the charred body of a Georgia mom who sent her daughter a cryptic text on the day she went missing. The body of Debbie Collier, 59, was found naked, burnt and clinging to a tree in a steep ravine near a wooded area in Tallulah Falls on September 11. Officials noted that there were signs of burns on her body:
The report read that investigators had “observed a nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand.” It noted that a piece of burned, blue tarp had been found next to a red tote bag near the scene.
Collier had sent her daughter, Amanda Bearden a chilling text message before her body was discovered. “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,” wrote the mom. She also wired her daughter $2385. The texts suggest that Collier had been kidnapped and murdered, and police are reportedly treating the mom’s death as a homicide, not a suicide.
Frantic after receiving the message, Bearden, 36, tried to call her mom but there was no answer. She then reported her missing to the Athens Clarke County Police. As the SUV was fitted with a satellite tracking system, cops were able to trace her location around 60 miles from her home. They found Debbie’s body a short distance away from the vehicle, which was left on the highway.
“Further search resulted in locating the body of a female subject down an embankment close to where the bag and tarp were located,” said Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Col. Murray Kogod.
Debbie, who worked as a secretary for Carriage House Reality in Athens reportedly rented an SUV the day before she went missing and left home carrying only her credit card and driver’s license. Her own car had been in a crash and was being repaired.
Her husband, Steve, 67, said he had last seen Debbie at around 9 pm on September 10 but had not missed her that night because he slept in a separate room due to his “loud snoring”. He then woke up early the next morning to go to work. As he saw his wife’s rented SUV still in the driveway, he assumed Debbie was still asleep. It wasn’t until Bearden received her mom’s chilling text message that alarm bells began to ring. According to Bearden, her mother had never up and left the family home before without being in touch and also noted that her bad back meant she was unable to walk far.
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Bearden, who accompanied the K-9 unit to the scene, became frantic when her mother’s empty SUV was found. She told cops that her mom had no history of mental health problems or suicidal tendencies. Upon finding the black Chrysler Pacifica, cops said there was no visible evidence that anyone else had been in the car and noted that the SUV was completely empty. The investigation is ongoing and a pathologist is set to examine Debbie’s body to determine the cause of death.