ATHENS, Ga. – The daughter of Athens office manager Debbie Collier, whose disturbing death in Habersham County has sparked widespread speculation, shared her story on Wednesday evening during a live podcast.
Amanda Bearden who hosted the Crime on the Record podcast during a special live stream.
Bearden revealed for the first time that she believed her mother killed herself.
Collier was found dead and naked on September 11 in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest south of Clayton, a 90-minute drive from her home in Athens. Her husband, Steven Collier, reported her missing around 6 p.m. the day before. She was discovered a few meters below the site of a small fire, with burns to her stomach, soot in her nostrils and clinging to a small tree.
Collier was last seen alive at a Family Dollar store on September 10, buying several items that were found burned near her remains. She also stopped by a Chick-fil-A restaurant beforehand, the sources noted.
The missing person report came after she sent a bizarre Venmo payment to her daughter, Amanda Bearden, of nearly $2,400 with the cryptic message: “They won’t let me go love you a while ago. house key in the blue flowerpot by the door.”
Bearden and her boyfriend had returned to Athens from Mayland just days before she disappeared.
She remembers being at the scene when investigators made the discovery.
“They were in those woods maybe ten minutes and the policeman came back and he said, ‘Come here’. And I knew…” she told podcasters.
At first, authorities said they were investigating his death as a homicide, but have since backtracked.
She says her mother was depressed and gave away some of her belongings days before she died.
Bearden has denied any involvement in his mother’s death.
She told the podcaster that she had already provided investigators with a sample of her DNA.
She said online rumors and speculation had damaged her relationship with her family.
My whole family turned against me. So, I understand thinking, you know, ‘This girl is crazy.’ But they are horrible human beings and I pray that the trauma and pain that I had to go through when the police did that press conference, which they told me they would hopefully do that you won’t do this to another family,” Bearden said during the podcast live stream.
Bearden says law enforcement seized money from a Venmo payment his mother sent him the day he died.
They have since returned it to her.
Authorities have yet to release the autopsy report, toxicology results or his official cause and manner of death.
The FBI and GBI continue to investigate Collier’s death.
Fox News contributed to this article