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Athens woman who went missing may be homicide victim


By Joe Johnson

The death of an Athens woman whose body was found Sunday in Habersham County is reportedly being investigated as a possible homicide

Deborrah Collier, 59, was reported missing from her home on Rocky Drive Saturday by her husband, Steven Collier, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

Her body and rented Chrysler Pacifica were found Sunday afternoon, after Habersham County dispatch was notified by a Sirius XM service representative that the service had received an alert that the minivan was in the area of Georgia Highway 15 and Victory Home Lane in Clarkesville, according to a Habersham sheriff’s media release.

“Habersham County patrol deputies and a K-9 Unit responded to the location to search for the missing person. The K-9 unit located a red tote bag and a partially-burned blue tarp. Further search resulted in locating the body of a female subject down an embankment close to where the bag and tarp were located,” the release stated.

The following day, the sheriff’s office announced that investigators had confirmed that the body was Collier’s.

Habersham County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Murray Kogod told Classic City News Thursday that it appeared as though Collier died as the result of foul play.

At this time, we are investigating the case as if it were a homicide rather than a suicide,” he said. “All preliminary information and evidence gathered to this point does not indicate a suicide situation.”

Collier’s body was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

When speaking to family members, an ACCPD officer wrote in his report that Collier’s adult daughter who lives in a different part of the county gave some strange information about something her mother did the afternoon of her disappearance.

“She informed that around 3:17 p.m., Deborrah sent her $2,385 through Venmo,” the officer wrote. “There was a message on Venmo that said, ‘They are never going to let me go love you...”

Habersham County investigators executed a search warrant Monday at Collier’s home, The Northeast Georgian reported.

They also subpoenaed OnStar and phone records to determine a timeline of where Collier went at what time and with whom, according to the newspaper.

The sheriff’s office said additional information will be released as it becomes available.

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