Family members of Georgia mother Debbie Collier’s murder have had their phones “seized” by police and feel they are “viewed as suspects,” their daughter’s boyfriend told the Post on Thursday.
Collier, 59, of Athens was found naked and partially burned in a ravine on September 11, the day his daughter Amanda Bearden said he had wired her $2,385 with a chilling note.
“They won’t let me go, love you, there’s the key to the house in a blue flower pot by the door.” read the message.
Speaking outside a home in Athens he shares with Bearden, Lover said the family has been given little detail by Habersham County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
“They didn’t really tell us anything,” he said, requesting not to use his name.
“They have questioned all of us. Those who are closest to him are seen as suspicious right now. ,
He said the police had Bearden’s phone and his phone as well.
“It’s weird,” he said. “I feel like [the Sheriff’s Department] There may be some clues but they won’t tell us anything.
Bearden’s boyfriend said the couple had moved from Maryland to Athens two days before disappearing in a rental car on September 10 with their driver’s license and debit card.
His own vehicle was being repaired after the accident.
“We came back on Thursday,” he said. “Her mother brought us lunch on Friday and then it is Saturday when she went missing.”
Collier, a realtor, lived at their home with her husband, Steven Collier. He told the police that he encountered his wife at 9 a.m. the night before he went missing and did not see her leaving the next morning as they slept in separate beds because of her snoring.
A neighbor told The Post on Wednesday that he heard an “uproar” from Collier’s home the night before his disappearance and the family often engaged in “shouting and fighting”.
Collier’s killer apparently attempted to burn his corpse about 100 yards from the side of the highway where his car was found in rural Athens, about 60 miles from his home.
A Post reporter visited the crime scene on Thursday, where discarded pieces of yellow police tape and blue gloves became a trail at the base of an uprooted tree where Collier’s body was found.
Burnt roots, burnt paper towels and blue plastic melted from the tarp were still visible.
Police reported finding the remains of a fire near Collier’s naked body, and she was found grasping the base of a small tree with her right hand.
His stomach, he said, showed signs of scorching.
Police also found a red colored bag near Collier’s body.
Bearden, who watched her mother’s remains being carried into the ravine, became hysterical, telling police that her mother had no history of mental illness or suicidal thoughts.
She also told investigators that Collier had a bad back and could not wander through the wooded area where she was discovered.
“My mom was my everything,” Bearden said in an interview with CBS 46.
“Someone took my whole world away from me,” she said. “She was a beautiful, kind, giving woman – and she didn’t deserve it… I want justice for my mother”.
The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office has ruled the shocking death a homicide, but has so far provided few more details.
A statement from the sheriff on 21 September said: “At this time there is no evidence to suggest or support that the incident was related to the kidnapping or that it was a suicide.”
“We have no clue what’s going on,” Bearden’s boyfriend said Thursday. “We are largely sitting at home watching movies.”