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New surveillance, 911 calls released as detectives track final moments before Athens woman's death

Detectives said Debbie Collier was in this parking lot when her daughter received a Venmo payment and cryptic text from her stating, "They won't let me go."

CLAYTON, Ga. — Twenty-four hours before Debbie Collier's body was found off a logging road in Clarksville, Georgia, new video from outside a Family Dollar in Clayton adds to the mystery. 

Habersham County detectives said you can see her black Chrysler Pacifica van she rented pull into the store just before 3 p.m. on Sept. 10. Detectives said Collier appeared to be alone and calm when she walked into the store, where video captured her buying several items. 

At 3:17 p.m. while Collier is sitting inside her van outside the Family Dollar, her daughter Amanda Bearden said her mom sent her a Venmo payment for almost $2,400 along with a text stating, "They won't let me go."

Detectives said two minutes later, at 3:19 p.m., Collier pulled out of the parking lot. Three hours after Collier was seen leaving the family dollar, her husband, Steven Collier, calls 911 and filed a missing persons report 60 miles away at their home in Athens, Georgia.

Credit: WXIA

Records show Amanda Bearden called Athens Clarke 911 the next day at 8:30 a.m. During the five-minute call, she asked the dispatcher if detectives could trace the GPS in her mom's rental van. 

"Um, I, I'm not trying to be a smart aleck here or anything, 'But do I need to hire a private detective?'" asked Amanda Bearden on the 911 call.

Three hours after that 911 call, Debbie Collier's sister who lives in Alabama called the same 911 center. She told the dispatcher Bearden told her Collier was missing.

"We're just not getting information, so I just... I'm just, I'm really worried about my sister," Diane Shirley said to the 911 dispatcher.

An hour later, just before 12:50 p.m. on Sept.11, Collier's rental van was found off a logging road off Highway 15 in Clarksville. Her partially burned body was found several hundred yards away along with the items she was seen buying inside the Family Dollar. Detectives said her purse and cell phone were also found near her body. 

11Alive obtained several documents including one that is dated Sept. 14, which shows detectives spent six hours executing a search warrant at a home Collier's daughter, Amanda, shared with her boyfriend.

Credit: Athens Clarke County Police

The Habersham County Sheriff's Office has not publicly identified a person of interest, a suspect or made an arrest in the homicide of Debbie Collier. 

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Investigator at (706) 839-0559. 

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