No evidence slain mom who texted ‘They won’t let me go’ was kidnapped, authorities say

Authorities in Georgia said Wednesday there’s no evidence suggesting a missing Georgia mother who was found dead this month had been kidnapped — despite a chilling text message to her daughter indicating that she was possibly being held against her will.

Investigators have also found no evidence linking the death of Deborrah Collier, 59, to suicide, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Collier’s partly burned naked body was found Sept. 11 in the woods off the side of a road in north Georgia, roughly an hour from her home in Athens, an incident report shows.

Deborrah Collier.
Deborrah Collier.Facebook

Collier’s last known communication was a text message to her daughter saying: “They won’t let me go, there is a key to the house underneath a flower pot,” according to the report. 

Collier had also sent $2,385 to her daughter through Venmo, the release says.

Neither the sheriff’s office nor Collier’s daughter immediately responded to requests for comment.

On Sept. 11, authorities in Habersham County were alerted that Collier’s vehicle, a late model van, was linked to a missing persons report filed in Clarke County, according to the report.

Deputies found the van a short time later on the side of a state road in Clarkesville, the report says.

A police officer from a nearby department told a deputy that he had seen the van in the same spot the day before and described the area as a place where vehicles often pull over.

The van was empty and unlocked, according to the report. After a K-9 search in nearby woods, officers found a red tote bag on its side near an uprooted tree, the report says.

They saw what appeared to be the remains of a fire and a partly burned blue tarp, the report says. Nearby, they found a naked woman on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand, the report says.

Her abdomen appeared to have been burned, the report says.

The sheriff’s office said an autopsy was being conducted by a state crime lab.

The news release said that the investigation continues and that authorities executed search warrants at locations directly tied to Collier. Investigators have also talked with people close to her, the release says.

Suzanne Ciechalski contributed.

Leave a Comment