Neighbors of a Georgia mother who was found naked and clinging to a tree, say they heard a ‘commotion’ at their house the night before she went missing.
Debbie Collier, 59, was found dead in a small, steep-sided ravine on September 11 near a wooded area in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Her body had been charred and there were burn marks on her abdomen.
A next door neighbor has since revealed how they heard ‘screaming and fighting’ at the family home on the evening of September 10.
‘There was commotion at the house,’ the neighbor revealed. ‘Somebody comes up to visit on the weekends [and] in the evenings, and there’s loud screaming and fighting,’ they told the New York Post, adding that it was a younger woman.
The neighbor went on to say how they would often hear shouting coming from the home, set in the woods.
Steven (right) and his wife Debbie had been married for 13 years. She was found dead, naked and charred, in a ravine on September 11
The married couple slept in different bedrooms because Steven was known to snore loudly during the night. He did not see his wife on the day she disappeared
Cops have said that the disturbing statement Collier sent to her daughter may suggest that there was a violent kidnapping involved before she was found dead
In the hours before her death, Collier had sent her daughter, Amanda Bearden, $2,385 on Venmo together with an unnerving final message.
‘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,’ it read.
Adding to the mystery, her husband Steven, 67, spoke to officers just after 6pm on September 10 after filing a missing persons report.
He revealed that he had not seen Debbie since 9pm the night before, September 9, yet her car was still in the driveway to their home when he left for work the next day.
An Athens-Clarke County missing persons report said that the couple, who had been married since 2013, slept in separate bedrooms because Steve was known to snore.
Debbie’s rented black Chrysler Pacifica was tracked down to the scene. Her body was then found in the wooded area off the road
The report, seen by DailyMail.com, read: ‘He clarified that he and Deborrah sleep in separate bedrooms due to his snoring.’
The next morning, Steven woke up early and left the house in Athens, Georgia to go to work.
He did not recall seeing his wife, but he said he saw her rented SUV still parked in the driveway – so assumed she was still inside asleep.
Police have declared Debbie’s death to be a homicide but have not revealed anything further details including the names of any suspects. The family are also declining to speak.
One ‘friend’ of the Colliers told The Post: ‘There’s a reason we are keeping quiet.’
‘I don’t understand what’s taking so long,’ one added, while referring to the Georgia Bureau or Investigation. ‘They’re slow out here.’
Other neighbors described how the entire family were recluse.
‘When we would get together out here on the block for a cookout, they never participated. They didn’t come to no get-togethers.
‘As far as I can tell they’ve lived here a good little while,’ the neighbor added.
Steven last saw his wife at 9pm the night before Debbie vanished, as he headed to sleep in his own bedroom
It’s unclear what occurred early on September 10, but the concerned family reported her as a missing person following a cryptic message to her daughter in the late afternoon
Debbie Collier, 59, was tragically found dead on September 11 in a wooded area in Tallulah Falls, Georgia, after being reported missing the day before
Debbie had rented a black Chrysler Pacifica through Enterprise, because her car had recently been in a crash.
At the time of her disappearance she also had a bad back meaning she couldn’t walk far, according to her daughter.
It’s unclear what occurred early on September 10, but alarm bells did not ring until later in the day when Debbie’s daughter received the sum of money along with a bizarre, out-of-character text.
Debbie’s disappearance stunned her daughter and husband, since she had ‘not done anything like this before’ and she didn’t have any other family members in the area she could have been visiting, documents state.
A desperate search was launched for the mother – and authorities begun pinging the rented car to see if they could locate the vehicle via its SiriusXM satellite radio.
The next morning around 12.30pm, the rented SUV was tracked down to GA 15 Northbound, in the area of Victory Home Lane, Clarkesville – 60 miles north of her home in Athens.
When they came across the rented black Chrysler Pacifica, police noted that the vehicle was completely empty, with no remnants of Debbie’s clothing, or any indication of where the car had been traveling to.
There was also nothing to determine that she was in the car with someone else, or if she was on her own.
Daughter Amanda Bearden, 36, (pictured) revealed that she received a sum of money from her mother alongside an eerie final message – prompting her to call the police and file her as a missing person
Police accompanied by K-9s approached the wooded area off of the road – and soon found the remains of a fire. Nearby, they found a red bag and blue burned tarp through the brush.
As they approached the fire, they looked further down the sloped embankment where he saw Debbie’s naked, burned body.
She was laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand, the police report stated.
Bearden, who was ‘hysterical’ at the scene, was heard shouting that the car pulled over on the road belonged to her mom.
She told police on the scene that her mother didn’t have any history of mental heath issues – and denied that she had ever experienced suicidal tendencies.
Debbie, who married her husband Steve in 2013, worked as the front office manager at Carriage House Realty in Athens for many years.
The homicide investigation is ongoing.
Habersham County Deputy Coroner Ken Franklin talks with Collier’s husband, Steven, seen here holding an umbrella, on September 11, 2022
Investigators and police cars seen at the scene near to where the body was discovered on September 11
The missing mother from Athens, Georgia sent a cryptic final message to her daughter before she was found dead in a ravine