By Ashe Schow
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Debbie Collier, the Georgia mom who disappeared after sending her daughter a chilling text, was seen on video surveillance purchasing several items that were found near her body when she was discovered, police say.
The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID), which has been investigating Collier’s death, said in a press release Monday afternoon that Collier was alone when she entered the Family Dollar Store in Clayton, Georgia, on Saturday, September 10. The CID said that over the weekend it had received information claiming Collier’s daughter, 36-year-old Amanda Bearden, had been at the store that day, but after talking to the clerk on duty and reviewing store camera footage, police determined she had not been there on that day.
But footage did show Collier entering the store on September 10 around 2:55 p.m. and exiting the store at 3:09 p.m. While there, Collier appeared calm and “not in fear of anything,” the CID said in its press release. Authorities said she purchased a rain poncho, refillable torch lighter, paper towels, a large tarp, and a reusable tote back.
Collier was found in a ravine 60 miles from her Athens, Georgia, home on September 11, with severe burns to her body and the remains of a burned tarp nearby, The Daily Wire previously reported. The Habersham County Sheriff’s office said in its incident report that an investigator “observed a nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand,” about 30 feet from the road. The report also said Collier had “charring to her abdomen.”
The CID said the store surveillance footage helps investigators narrow the time of Collier’s death to a window beginning after 3:09 p.m. on September 10 to the time her body was discovered on September 11, around 12:44 p.m.
Collier’s daughter Amanda reported her mother missing on September 10, telling police she had received a text from her mom saying, “They are not going to let me go, love you.” Collier had reportedly sent Amanda $2,385 over Venmo along with the chilling text message.
Bearden told police that she immediately tried to call her mother’s phone after she received the message, but Collier didn’t pick up. After she reported her mother’s disappearance, police also tried to call Collier’s phone, to no avail.
Bearden and her father also told police that it was “unusual for Deborrah to do this” and that she “has not done anything like this before.”
Police were able to use the Sirius XM satellite radio in Collier’s SUV to track her movements after she left her home that Saturday. They tracked the vehicle to an area off U.S. 441, 60 miles north of where Collier lived, and alerted the Habersham County Sheriff’s office, which searched the area. Using a K-9 unit, police searched the woods near where the SUV was discovered and found Collier’s body in a ravine that could not be seen from the highway, WXIA-TV reported.