Newton County

‘We’re hoping she’s still alive:’ Search underway for beloved metro Atlanta grandmother

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — The search continues for a missing Metro Atlanta grandmother.

For the second day in a row, police searched areas around Covington for 64-year-old Debra Ashby.

“We’re hoping she’s still alive. But unfortunately, as the days go by, it doesn’t look too good,” said Heather Collette, Ashby’s daughter-in-law.

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Collette says the last time anyone saw Ashby was at her home on Kirk Street in Covington.

Channel 2 also talked with Ashby’s granddaughter, who told us she was the last family member to speak with Ashby on Oct. 29.

“Everything seemed great. Everything seemed fine. She didn’t seem worried. She didn’t seem out of character,” said her granddaughter, Quinesha Collette. “She seemed fine.”


Earlier this year, Covington Police arrested Ashby’s then-boyfriend Arnithal Freeman on a domestic violence charge.

Police tell Channel 2 they now call Freeman a person of interest in Ashby’s disappearance.

Police say Freeman now sits in jail after they arrested him again last week on a stalking charge for violating a protective order to stay away from Ashby.

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Over the past two days, police searched some woods south of Covington while the family posted fliers around town, but so far, no signs of the beloved grandmother.

“We are trying to keep hope alive,” said Heather Collette. “We wish for the best.”

The family plans to conduct their own search on Friday, weather permitting.