Georgia deputies have searched the home of the daughter of an Athens mother found dead earlier this week in a ravine 60 miles from her home — the same daughter who reported her mother missing, saying that she allegedly sent her more than $2,000 by Venmo along with a cryptic message.
“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,” Debbie Collier, 59, reportedly said in the message to Amanda Bearden, 36, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Investigators have not named a suspect or a motive in Collier’s killing, but earlier this week they said they’ve seen no evidence that Collier’s death involved a kidnapping or suicide.
Bearden — as well as her boyfriend, Andrew Giegerich — have a history of run-ins with police, most having to do with domestic violence. Bearden’s record stretches back to 2008 — and some involve making false claims to police as both the victim and aggressor in domestic violence calls.
According to Fox News, the search warrant served on the home Bearden and Giegerich share was one of several relating to the investigation, although the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office declined to release copies of the warrants and wouldn’t say what, if anything, they found in the search.
A neighbor of the Colliers told the New York Post that they heard “screaming and fighting” at the home the night before Debbie Collier went missing.
“There was commotion at the house,” the neighbor said, adding that it wasn’t uncommon.
“Somebody comes up to visit on the weekends [and] in the evenings, and there’s loud screaming and fighting,” she said, adding the visitor was a younger woman.
A friend who answered the door at the Collier home this week declined to comment and then said, “There’s a reason we are keeping quiet.”
Steve Collier, the victim’s husband, told investigators he last saw his wife at 9 p.m. on Saturday and that her car was still in the driveway when he left for work Sunday morning. He said that the couple sleeps separately because of his snoring.
Investigators determined that Collier left home with only a driver’s license and her debit card. On Sunday, they found a car she’d rented in a wooded area in Habersham County, 60 miles from Athens. A further search turned up her body, naked and charred on the abdomen.
CrimeOnline’s Nancy Grace said in an interview with Fox News that she didn’t believe Debbie Collier sent the strange message to her daughter.
“She sent that bizarre text to her daughter, saying, ‘they’re not going to let me go’ and ‘the key to the house is under the flower pot,” Grace said. “And if she was found without her cellphone, then, from where did she send that text – the very bizarre text?
“And she thought then to loan her daughter $2,385 with her dying movements and breaths? None of that fits.”
Bearden told local Atlanta station WGCL that her mother was her “everything” and she was distraught because “somebody took my whole world from me.”
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[Featured image: Debbie Collier/Facebook]