Debbie Collier's death has been ruled a suicide by the State Medical Examiner's office. The autopsy report, released this week, is thought to be a shocking twist in the case, which was initially considered a homicide investigation.
On September 11, 2022, the 59-year-old mother was found dead in the woods near a highway in northern Georgia. Subsequently, Debbie's disturbing death shook up the whole town.
The autopsy report of Debbie Collier has been released two months after her death
Around two months after the dreadful incident, shocking details have been revealed via Debbie Collier's autopsy report published this week.
As per Ken Franklin, the Habersham County Deputy Coroner, Collier died of,
"Inhalation of superheated gases, thermal injuries, and hydrocodone intoxication.”
Franklin further told Now Habersham,
“It’s pretty evident that she started the fire. From what I saw and what I considered to be the case is that this was a self-inflicted death, but I was relying on the results of the autopsy and the doctor at the lab to make the final call.”
Amanda Bearden, Collier's daughter, put her perspective forward regarding the whole case. She appeared as a guest on the podcast called Crime on the Record.
Bearden, a crucial part of the investigation, denied involvement in her mother's death. She was suspected due to her substance abuse record and her unstable relationship with her boyfriend. In the podcast, Amanda mentioned that she had to submit DNA samples.
There had been many assumptions and theories that believed that it was a homicide and not a suicide. This arose when Amanda mentioned in the podcast that she felt her mother had died by suicide, even before the autopsy report came out.
What do we know about the Debbie Collier case?
Debbie Collier was last seen at a Family Dollar store on September 10, 2022. She was reported missing the same day by her husband, Steven Collier, at around 6 pm. The surveillance footage from the store showed that she bought several items, which were later found in a burnt state.
A cryptic Venmo payment of $2400 was also made to Amanda by Debbie with the following message:
“They are not going to let me go love you there is a key to the house in the blue flowerpot by the door.”
Before the autopsy report was released, Debbie's son Jeffrey Bearden had spoken to CourtTV. He said,
“I want to know who ‘they’ are.”
Debbie was found lifeless and naked in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, near the highway, on September 11, 2022. Her stomach had burns, and she had soot in her nostrils.
There have been several speculations regarding Debbie Collier's death. These primarily arose from the cryptic text Debbie supposedly sent to her daughter.
Based on the autopsy reports, the case has been ultimately ruled as suicide and is no longer considered a homicide.