Debbie Collier murder: Georgia investigators reveal death was 'personal and targeted'

Georgia deputies found Debbie Collier's purse and phone at the crime scene, lead investigator George Cason revealed

Debbie Collier's brutal slaying was "personal and targeted" and likely not the act of a random serial killer or self-inflicted, the Habersham County Sheriff's Office revealed in a Friday morning news briefing.

Investigators also said that they recovered her purse and cell phone at the crime scene, as they narrowed down the window of death. She sat in her rented Chrysler Pacifica for an additional 10 minutes in a Clayton, Georgia, parking lot on September 10 after checking out at a Family Dollar store with several items later found near her partially burned remains, investigators said.

That means the mysterious Venmo payment sent to her daughter went through before Collier left the store's parking lot. 

She paid for a tarp, poncho, lighter, tote bag and paper towels just after 3:09 p.m., according to the Habersham County Sheriff's Office. Then her daughter received $2,385 over Venmo at 3:17 – along with the 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." 

DEBBIE COLLIER CASE: TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN BURNED OFFICE MANAGER'S SLAYING

Steven and Debbie Collier in an undated photo. She was last seen at 3:20 p.m. at a store located a 90-minute drive north from their home in Athens on September 10, and he called 911 to report her missing at 6 p.m. the same day.

Steven and Debbie Collier in an undated photo. She was last seen at 3:20 p.m. at a store located a 90-minute drive north from their home in Athens on September 10, and he called 911 to report her missing at 6 p.m. the same day. (Debbie Steve Collier/Facebook)

Collier was last seen on September 10 — and found dead the next afternoon 60 miles away from home after sending money and a cryptic note to her daughter, according to authorities.

Investigators said Friday that she arrived sometime after 2:17 p.m. on that Saturday, when traffic cameras recorded Collier driving northbound on Route 15 in Tallulah Falls.

Her daughter, Amanda Bearden, had been living with her brother Jeffrey Bearden until September 8, the lead investigator revealed Friday.

Detectives were still waiting for returns on additional search warrants and subpoenas, authorities said Friday, as well as the results of an autopsy report and other forensic items submitted to the state crime lab for testing. Among the outstanding questions is what device sent the strange Venmo payment, authorities said.

"We are now just beginning to get responses to search warrants and subpoenas in the case," Col. Murray Kogod told reporters.

He said it was a "complex case" and that investigators were still looking to identify persons of interest.

"It is going to take significantly more time than the 19 days that have passed since the discovery to solve this crime," Kogod added.

SLAIN GEORGIA WOMAN DEBBIE COLLIER REMEMBERED AS BELOVED MATRIARCH ‘FILLED WITH JOY AND BEAUTY’

Investigators had previously said they did not expect suicide or a kidnapping. 

Lead investigator George Cason revealed that police recovered Collier's cell phone at the crime scene and had it in evidence. However, detectives were still waiting for data from several phone carriers, he said.

"Right now, we have not ruled anyone out," he said. "We are still in the process of trying to find a person or persons of interest."

Flowers near the crime scene where Debbie Collier was found. 

Flowers near the crime scene where Debbie Collier was found.  (Kat Ramirez/MEGA for Fox News Digital)

DEBBIE COLLIER 911 CALL MENTIONS MYSTERIOUS EX-CON TRUCK DRIVER

Cason also confirmed that Steven Collier, the victim’s husband, was seen on video working from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the day his wife went missing.

Authorities said the initial incident report, which indicated Collier's death may have been drug-related, contained an error. They do not suspect drugs played a role in the crime.

Surveillance video shows Debbie Collier was carrying a large black purse and keys when she entered the Family Dollar store in Clayton on Sept. 10, 2022.

Surveillance video shows Debbie Collier was carrying a large black purse and keys when she entered the Family Dollar store in Clayton on Sept. 10, 2022. (Habersham County Sheriff's Office)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Anyone with information on Collier’s case is asked to contact Habersham Sheriff’s Investigators Cale Garrison or George Cason at 706-839-0559 or 706-839-0560, respectively.

Cason also asked any businesses along Route 15 in the area of Collier's disappearance to submit surveillance video to investigators and for any potential witnesses to reach out.

"If anyone had contact with Deborrah Collier during that timeframe…please, please we encourage. you to come forward and speak with us," he added.