Family members of murdered Georgia mom Debbie Collier have had their phones “confiscated” by police and feel like they’re being “looked at as suspects,” her daughter’s boyfriend told The Post Thursday.
Collier, 59, of Athens, was found naked and partially burned in a ravine on September 11, the day after her daughter, Amanda Bearden, said she wired her $2,385 along with a chilling note.
“They are not going to let me go, love you there is a key to the house in the blue flower pot by the door.” the message read.
Speaking outside an Athens home he shares with Bearden, the boyfriend said the family has been given scant details by Habersham County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
“They haven’t really told us nothing,” he said, requesting that his name not be used.
“They’ve interrogated all of us. The people who are closest to her are kind of looked at as suspects right now.”
He said cops have been in possession of Bearden’s phone, along with his own.
“It’s weird,” he said. “I feel like [the Sheriff’s Department] may have some leads but they won’t tell us anything.”
Bearden’s beau said the couple moved to Athens from Maryland just two days before Collier vanished in a rental car with her driver’s license and debit card on September 10.
Her own vehicle was being repaired after an accident.
“We came back Thursday,” he said. “Her mother brought us lunch Friday and then Saturday is when she went missing.”
Collier, a realtor, lived at her home with her husband, Steven Collier. He told cops he last encountered his wife at 9 p.m. the night before her disappearance and didn’t see her leave the following morning because they sleep in separate beds due to his snoring.
A neighbor told The Post Wednesday that she heard a “commotion” coming from Collier’s home the night before she vanished and the family frequently engaged in “screaming and fighting.”
Collier’s killer apparently attempted to burn her corpse about 100 yards off the side of the highway where her car was found in rural Athens, roughly 60 miles from her home.
A Post reporter toured the crime scene Thursday, where discarded pieces of yellow police tape and blue gloves formed a trail to the base of an uprooted tree where Collier’s body was found.
Charred roots, burned paper towels and melted blue plastic from a tarp were also still visible.
Police reported finding the remains of a blaze near Collier’s nude body, and that she was found gripping the base of a small tree with her right hand.
Her abdomen, they said, showed signs of charring.
Cops also found a red tote bag anear Collier’s corpse.
Bearden, who became hysterical as she watched her mother’s remains being carried up the ravine, told 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 have wandered into the wooded area where she was discovered.
In an interview with CBS 46 Bearden said “my mom was my everything.”
“Somebody took my whole world from me,” she said. “She was a beautiful, kind, giving woman — and she didn’t deserve any of this…I want justice for my mom”.
The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office has ruled the shocking death a homicide but have provided few further details thus far.
A statement from the Sheriff on on September 21 said: “At this time there is no evidence to suggest or support that this incident was related to a kidnapping or that this was a suicide.”
“We have no clue what’s going on,” Bearden’s boyfriend said Thursday. “We’ve pretty much just been sitting at home watching movies.”