Debbie Collier: Timeline of investigation into Georgia woman's death

Law enforcement found Athens mom Debbie Collier’s remains on Sept. 11, one day after the woman was reported missing.

There are few known details about investigative developments since the discovery of the 59-year-old real estate office manager's body. Investigators haven't said if they pinpointed a person of interest or motive in the case. 

Incident reports from Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Habersham County Sheriff's Office provide a timeline of some events leading up to the gruesome discovery:

Debbie Collier's husband sees his wife before bed

In an Athens-Clarke County Police Department report, Steven Collier told police he last saw his wife, Debbie Collier, before going to bed at around 9 p.m. on Sept. 9. 


He told the officer they sleep in separate rooms because he snores.

Debbie Collier's husband leaves for work, sees her car

The police narrative did not specify when Steven Collier left for work on Sept. 10, a Saturday, but he told an officer he saw the car she was driving at home in the driveway.

Investigators said video shows Steve Collier at work, parking vehicles for the University of Georgia football game that day from 9 a.m. to 4:06 p.m.

Steven Collier said Debbie Collier "should have been home," according to the Athens police report narrative.

Debbie Collier takes her driver's license, debit card, Chrysler Pacifica

Investigators haven't said if they know when or if Debbie Collier drove off in a Chrysler Pacifica she was renting from Enterprise. 

Debbie Collier's daughter, Amanda Bearden, said her mother rented the car because hers had been in a wreck. Bearden told police her mom's driver's license and debit card were the only other possessions she saw missing, besides the rental car. 

Debbie Collier's van seen on highway

Investigators shared an image captured at 2:17 p.m. on Sept. 10 of what they believe to be the Chrysler Pacifica Collier on a highway. 

The image came from a Tallulah Falls school security camera.

It showed her moving north on Ga. Highway 15. 

Debbie Collier goes to dollar store

Surveillance video from a Family Dollar a few miles away from where Collier was found in Habersham County shows the woman buying a red reusable tote bag, a 2-roll pack of paper towels, tarp, rain poncho and reusable lighter at the store in Clayton.

Collier enters the store at 2:55 p.m. and leaves at 3:09 p.m.

The Habersham County Sheriff's Office said additional video shows her leaving the Family Dollar and sitting in her car for several minutes.

Debbie Collier sends a Venmo payment, message to her daughter

Amanda Bearden said she received $2,385 on Venmo at around 3:17 p.m. on Sept. 10 with a message, "They are not going to let me go love you there is a key to the house in the blue flowerpot by the door." The name on the Venmo account is "Steve Collier."

FOX 5 Atlanta obtained the original Venmo transfer from Steve Collier to Amanda Bearden. 

Bearden told police the message scared her. 


She tried to call her mom, who didn't answer her phone.

Investigators said they are waiting on more information on what device the money was transferred from.

Investigators confirmed Amanda Bearden received the money transferred on Venmo.

Debbie Collier reported missing in Athens

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department missing person report said an officer met with Steven Collier at around 6:08 p.m. on Sept. 10 on Rocky Drive. The neighborhood is near the northern city limits of Athens off Ga. Highway 441. 

Bearden and Steve Collier gave police an account of events over the approximately 27 hours before — when they saw her last, the Venmo payment and the missing Chrysler Pacifica. 

They told police that it was unusual for Debbie to leave without saying anything. 

The told police there were no relatives in the area for her to visit. 

Police, dispatch and family try calling Debbie Collier's phone, which went straight to voicemail. 

The officer logged Debbie Collier in Georgia Crime Information Center as missing, but her family didn't know the model year or tag number of the rental car. 

The officer told relatives to call 911 if they hear from her. Athens police also tried to "ping" her cellphone that night, according to a Habersham County incident report.

Tallulah Falls Police Department officer sees Debbie Collier's car

The area where investigators found Debbie Collier's rental car.

The area where investigators found Debbie Collier's rental car in Habersham County. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

An incident report from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office says a Tallulah Falls Police Department officer saw Debbie Collier's rented Chrysler Pacifica on the side of Ga. Highway 15 at around 5 p.m. on Sept. 10. 

The officer said it's common to pull into the area. The officer may have been unaware the car was the subject of a missing person investigation since Debbie Collier's family couldn't provide specifics about the car's model and plate to Athens police. 

Sirius XM reports possible location of Debbie Collier's rental car

At some point on Sept. 11, a representative with Sirius XM contacted Athens police about the location of Debbie Collier's car off of Ga. Highway 15 in Clarkesville.

Sometime before 12:28 p.m., the representative contacted Habersham 911 Dispatch and explained where the car was. The Habersham County Sheriff's Office responded to the highway near the intersection of Victory Home Lane.

Investigators find Debbie Collier's rental car

A Habersham County sergeant requested Tallulah Falls police to help look for the car.

The sergeant found Debbie Collier's rental car in a "pulloff" to an old logging road near the location provided by Sirius XM.

 A responding Tallulah Falls officer tells a Habersham County deputy about the familiar car, which may have been there the night before. 

Police prepare to search woods for Debbie Collier

A memorial sits on the side of the road where the Athens woman’s body was found. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

Investigators initially requested a Lee Arrendale Correctional Institute K-9 unit, which was unavailable. 

Law enforcement requested the Georgia State Patrol Aviation team, which said it would respond. 

The sergeant requests a deputy to bring a K-9 to aid the search.

Debbie Collier's daughter, Amanda Bearden, comes to the scene

After law enforcement found the car, Amanda Bearden arrived. Athens police had told her the approximate location of the latest "ping."

Bearden "began screaming" that the car belonged to her mother, according to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. 

Bearden told investigators her mother had no history of mental illness or suicidal tendencies. She said her mother "had a bad back, and couldn`t have walked far," according to the incident report.

Investigators discover Debbie Collier's body

The Habersham County K-9 handler arrived at the scene.

Law enforcement searched, then an officer noticed a "red tote bag laid on its side near an uprooted tree." 

The officer "what appeared to be the remains of a fire" near the root ball of the tree. 

The officer looked further down the embankment and saw "a partially burnt blue in color tarp" and a "nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand." 

Investigators in Habersham County where Debbie Collier's body was discovered.

Investigators in Habersham County where Debbie Collier's body was discovered. 

The officer immediately realized she was dead and identified the body as Debbie Collier. 

The body was burned and "charred" on her abdomen, according to the incident report.

At 3:06 p.m., law enforcement established a crime scene and started a log. Habersham County criminal investigators responded. 

A wrecker service took the car to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office.

A wrecker service took the car to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office.

The Habersham County coroner took Collier's remains to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab, and a wrecker service took the car to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators interview people 'closest' to Debbie Collier

Law enforcement hasn't stated who investigators have interviewed, but said on Sept. 21 it was developing evidence to indicate persons of interest.

Autopsy rules Debbie Collier's death as suicide

Debbie Collier’s death was ruled a suicide by the G.B.I. Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. 

The Habersham County Sheriff's Office said Friday autopsy results show Collier died from "inhalation of superheated gases, thermal injuries, and hydrocodone intoxication."

Investigators met with the family before sharing the autopsy findings.

The details of the autopsy were released on Nov. 18, more than two months after the woman's death.

FOX News Digital contributed to this report.