Missing Athens woman’s body found burned after telling daughter ‘they won’t let me go’

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. — Deputies say the burned and naked remains of an Athens woman were found in Habersham County after she reportedly sent thousands in cash to her daughter and told her that “they won’t let me go.”

Deputies said that Deborah Todd Collier, 59, vanished from the Athens area on Sept. 10.

Her daughter, Amanda Bearden, told police that before she vanished, her mother had sent her $2,385 via Venmo and texted something to the effect of “they won’t let me go. There is a key to the house under the flower pot.”

On Sept. 11, police tracked Collier’s car to Habersham County using her Sirius XM service. Collier’s empty Chrysler Pacifica was pulled over on the side of a wooded area along GA 15 near Tallulah Falls.

Bearden arrived at the scene after Sirius XM notified her that the car had been found and told deputies her mother had a bad back and couldn’t walk far.

A K9 unit was dispatched to the scene and searched the area. Deputies found what looked like the remains of a fire in the woods. Shortly thereafter, they found Collier’s body naked and burned. A partially burned blue tarp and a red tote bag were found nearby.

Deputies are still working to determine the circumstances surrounding Collier’s death, and are treating it as a homicide. So far they have not identified any suspects.

The state medical examiner’s office is performing an autopsy.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.





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