Walking back their suspicions that a missing woman was murdered, deputies on Friday announced that her death was ruled a suicide. An autopsy showed that Debbie Collier, 59, started the fire that burned her, according to the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office in a Now Habersham report.
As previously reported, she was found dead Sept. 11 in ravine nearby the Georgia 15 northbound in the city of Clarkesville. Collier was naked and burned, they said. She had been seen alive on Sept. 10 shopping at a Family Dollar several miles away.
The circumstances of her passing were suspicious. Deputies cited a Venmo transfer and disturbing note she sent her daughter:
[Athens-Clarke County Police Sgt.] JOHNSON also advised [Habersham County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ethan Neal] that the last communication from COLLIER was to her daughter. He advised that COLLIER had used Venmo to send approximately $2,300.00 to her daughter, with a message that stated something to the effect of (they won`t let me go, there is a key to the house underneath a flower pot).
Authorities dismissed the idea that this was a random killing or a serial murder.
“We believe that this act was deliberate and personal,” Habersham County Chief Deputy Murray Kogod said weeks ago.
Now authorities have reached a different conclusion.
“A detailed examination of all gathered information has enabled investigators to determine, based on factual evidence and data, that Mrs. Collier’s death was self-inflicted,” deputies said in a press statement obtained by Now Habersham. “Furthermore, the G.B.I. Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that the cause of death was Inhalation of Superheated Gases, Thermal Injuries, and Hydrocodone Intoxication and that the manner of death was suicide. Habersham County Sheriff’s Office investigators met with family members and discussed the specifics of the investigation prior to distribution of this release.”
They expressed their condolences to Collier’s family.
“It is our hope and prayer that the findings of this investigation provide some form of closure and allow for the healing process to begin,” they said.
[Screenshot via Law&Crime Network]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]