• Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

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Georgia woman Debbie Collier’s death was ‘personal and targeted,’ police say

The death of 59-year-old Georgia woman Debbie Collier, whose body was found naked and partially burned earlier this month, was “personal and targeted,” police say.

The investigation into Collier’s mysterious death is ongoing, but at this time investigators do not believe it was a suicide or a random act of violence, the Habersham Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

“In an attempt to address the suggestions of this being a suicide or the work of a serial killer, we want to reiterate that there is nothing that has come from this investigation thus far that would support the theory that this was self-inflicted or that it was a random act of violence,” the release stated. “At this time, the investigation is leading us to the proposition that Mrs. Collier’s death was personal and targeted.”

Deborrah Collier.
Deborrah Collier.Facebook

Police also previously said there was no evidence suggesting a Collier had been kidnapped — despite a chilling text message to her daughter indicating that she was possibly being held against her will.

In a press conference Friday, the sheriff’s office revealed it received new security video from a business next to the Family Dollar in Clayton, Georgia where Collier was last seen on Sept. 10.

The footage shows Collier walk out of the dollar store at 3:09p.m., sit in her vehicle for 10 minutes, then drive out of the parking lot heading south on Georgia State Road 15.

“This information allows investigators to narrow the time of death to a window beginning at 3:19 p.m. on Saturday, September 10 to the discovery of the body on Sunday, September 11 at 12:44 p.m.” the news release read.

Collier’s autopsy report and analysis reports of items submitted by the sheriff’s office to a crime lab are still pending, Habersham County Chief Deputy Murray Kogod said at the news conference Friday. Police are just starting to receive information from an initial series of search warrants and subpoenas that were filed in connection to Collier’s case.

“Please understand that this case is very complex in nature and has a lot of questions and unknowns that aren’t found in a typical death investigation,” Kogod said. “It is going to take significantly more time than the 19 days that have passed since the discovery to solve this crime.”

Sept. 22, 202201:29

Collier’s partly burned naked body was found Sept. 11 in the woods off the side of a road in north Georgia, roughly an hour from her home in Athens, an incident report shows.

Collier’s daughter alerted authorities to a chilling text message — “they won’t let me go, there is a key to the house underneath a flower pot,” — that her mother sent by the payment app Venmo before she disappeared. Collier also sent her daughter $2,385, the sheriff’s office said.

Sept. 27, 202201:35

Collier was captured in security video on Sept. 10 at 2:55p.m. at a Family Dollar in Clayton, in the North Georgia mountains, buying a tarp, a torch lighter, a rain poncho and a reusable tote bag, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Collier appeared to be “calm and not afraid of anything,” authorities said.

The 59-year-old’s body was found in a wooded area off State Road 15 at 12:44 p.m. on Sept. 11, roughly 13 miles south of the Family Dollar she was last seen in.

The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging anyone with information on Collier and her death to come forward.

Tim Stelloh contributed.