The son of Debbie Collier — the Georgia woman who sent a cryptic message to her daughter shortly before her murder on Sept. 11, has tirelessly worked to understand what happened in order to bring the killer to justice.
RTM previously reported that police found Collier’s body in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Georgia) after her husband reported her missing the day before.
Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell reported in mid-September: “At this time, the investigation is leading us to the proposition that Mrs. Collier’s death was personal and targeted.”
Adding mystery to the story, on the day Collier died, she sent her daughter, Amanda Bearden, a Venmo payment of $2,385 and an unusual text 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.”
Fox News reported that the funds transferred to Bearden were “very close” to the amount her boyfriend, Andrew Giegerich, owes in fines to the Athens-Clarke County Probation Department.
The New York Post reported that Amanda, 36, “has a history of arrests for fighting with her boyfriends and was once thrown in jail for faking a drug test.”
Amanda’s brother, Jeffrey Bearden, told 11Alive News, “I do not think my sister has the capacity to hurt my mom. She was my mom’s lifeline. But I don’t trust the people that my sister hangs out with, and that’s my concern.”
Jeffrey also commented on the Venmo financial transfer: “I’ve never seen my mom Venmo that large amount of money, so no, that’s very out of character for her.” Jeffrey also noted that he did not know who the “they” in the text message were.
The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance video of Collier at a Family Dollar in Clayton on Sept. 10, the day of her murder.
Reportedly, Debbie did not inform anyone she was leaving home before traveling about 60 miles to the store located a few miles from where her abandoned rental car and naked and burned body were found the next day.
I don’t know why my mom was up there,” Jeffrey said. “It doesn’t make sense to me why she was [there]. Especially that there is a Dollar General that she frequently visited that was less than a mile from her home [in Athens].”
Jeffrey also questioned why his mother reportedly purchased a rain poncho, a large tarp, a reusable tote bag, a 2-roll pack of paper towels and a refillable torch light at the dollar store.
“I’ve never known her to be a camper,” Bearden told 11Alive News. “I mean, we have tarps at the house. My stepdad works in construction. I found about 20 to 30 reusable bags at my house. She was very green, she had a bunch of those.”
Though Jeffrey has expressed doubts the person in the surveillance video is his mother, police found the items purchased at the store next to her body.
Jeffrey reportedly is frustrated with the limited information he has been able to glean from investigators, posting on Facebook that officers “snickered” at his recent request for an update.
Though the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office has not released the names of any suspects, The Northeast Georgian reported an investigator stated he expected the case to be solved soon.
“We have made very significant progress and are close to a breakthrough,” Col. Murray Kogod told the paper.
The New York Post reported that Jeffrey had a message for his mother’s killer: “I’m not going to stop until you are in jail or on death row.”
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