Deborah Collier: New video of woman buying lighter adds to mysterious death of mother found burned in ravine

 (Surveillance video)
(Surveillance video)

A Georgia woman whose burned body was found in a ravine was last seen alive at a Family Dollar.

Fifty-nine-year-old Deborah Collier, of Clayton, was last seen buying a refillable torch lighter and a tarp on 10 September, a newly released surveillance video obtained by The Daily Beast shows.

Her severely burned and partially naked body was found the following day in a wooded area near the Family Dollar where she was last seen, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office said.

On the day she disappeared, Collier sent a Venmo payment of $2,385 to her daughter, Amanda Bearden, with a note reading: “They are not going to let me go [,] love you[.] There is a key to the house in the flue flower pot by the door.” Ms Bearden then reported her mother missing.

However, law enforcement has ruled out a possible kidnapping or suicide. Authorities told TheDaily Beast that the incident is believed to be drug-related and Collier’s death has been ruled a homicide.

The newly released video shows Collier entering the store at 2.55pm on the day before her body was found. She was wearing a red shirt and purchased a rain poncho, a two-roll pack of paper towels, a refillable torch lighter, an OBD Trap and a reusable tote bag — items later found next to her body.

 (Debbie Collier/Facebook)
(Debbie Collier/Facebook)

Authorities told The Daily Beast the trip to the Family Dollar only lasted 14 minutes and Collier was by herself.

“[She] appears to be calmed and not in fear of anything,” the sheriff’s office told the outlet.

On 11 September, Collier’s van was found on the side of a state road in Clarkesville. Authorities ran the numbers of her license plate and discovered the vehicle was linked to a person reported missing in Clayton.

K-9 units brought to the scene led investigators to Collier’s body. She was found lying on her back, naked and grasping a small tree with her right hand, NBC reported.

Collier was severely burned on her stomach, according to the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office’s report.

“At this time, there is no evidence to suggest or support that this incident was related to kidnapping or that this is a suicide,” the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office said.