911 calls released in death of missing mother found burned and naked after sending cryptic text

Police have released to Channel 2 Action News the 911 calls in the case of an Athens woman found dead after she disappeared.

Deborrah Collier, 59, was found burned and naked in a wooded area in Habersham County on Sept. 11. around 1 p.m. The area she was found was about 13 miles away from the Family Dollar store that is believed to be the last place anyone saw her.

Police said she sent her daughter more than $3,000 on Venmo with a message saying “they aren’t going to let me go,” and instructions on where to find a house key.

Collier’s daughter Amanda Bearden and her husband Steve Collier reported her missing on Sept. 10.

Bearden said she tried calling her mother, but she didn’t answer. Bearden said her mother only took her debit card and driver’s license with her and left in a black Chrysler van that she had rented after wrecking her own car.

“I do have the rental agreement number if they needed that. If they could maybe trace the GPS through it,” Bearden told the dispatcher.


In a 911 call, Steve Collier said he had been gone all day parking cars at a football game and when he returned, his wife’s rental van was gone. He told the dispatcher that he thought Deborrah went to the store for food like she normally did on Saturdays.

However, his wife left her driver’s license and credit card behind. Steve Collier also mentioned the text message that his step-daughter said she received two hours before he made the 911 call.

A woman identifying herself as Collier’s sister, Diane Shirley, also called 911 hoping to get more information on her sister’s case. She told the dispatcher that her niece said Collier was in an accident a month before her disappearance.

Shirley: “She was on the road and following this truck. This truck lost a paint can and the paint can hit my sister’s car and the paint went everywhere. The driver tried to convince my sister not to tell the cops he was driving because he was out on parole and there was a stipulation to his parole that he couldn’t drive.”

Dispatcher: “Do you think that was told to anyone else? Do you think that was told to the officers?”

Sister: “That’s…from my niece.”

Dispatcher: “I don’t know if the officer knows that. But I can have him call you if you want to pass that along to him.”

Sister: “I would really appreciate that. I’m in Alabama. And she’s not communicating very well with us and I would really like to know what’s going on.”

According to an incident report obtained by Channel 2, Collier was involved in a wreck involving a truck. However, the accident occurred on April 30, four months before Collier’s disappearance.

“Driver 1 had metal items on the top of the van with the ladder. One or more items flew off the van and hit vehicle 2 resulting in damage on the driver side of vehicle 2. No injuries,” the report stated. Police cited the driver.

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So far, the investigation into Collier’s death has produced no suspects. Deputies said results of an autopsy to determine Collier’s cause of death are still pending.

“We don’t believe that this is a random act of violence. We do not believe this was the act of a serial killer,” deputies said Friday. “We believe that this act was deliberate and personal.”

“Please understand that this case is very complex in nature and has a lot of questions and unknows that are not typical for a death investigation,” deputies said. “It’s going to take significantly more time than the 19 days that have passed to solve this crime.”

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Cale Garrison at (706) 839-0559 or Investigator George Cason at (706) 839-0560.