‘Something’s very off here’: Missing mom found dead was naked and burned holding onto a tree

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CLARKSVILLE, GA – The body of a missing woman was discovered by authorities in a manner fit for a horror movie.

According to police, the woman was found naked while holding onto a tree after having been set on fire.

The family of 59-year-old Debbie Collier reported her missing on September 10th and had hoped that she would be found alive.

Instead, the family received the gruesome news that her body had been discovered in a remote area on the side of Route 15 in Clarksville, Georgia.

The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office utilized the Sirius XM satellite service to locate the rental vehicle Collier had gotten before her disappearance.

When the vehicle was found, it was unlocked and unoccupied causing grave concern for her well-being, especially after her daughter, Amanda Bearden, had reported the last communication with her mother was rather cryptic.

According to the police report:

“Collier had used Venmo to send approximately $2,300.00 to her daughter, with a message that stated something to the effect of (they won’t let me go, there is a key to the house underneath the flower pot).”

Using a police canine, deputies began searching the area where the vehicle was and was quickly alerted that the handler had located a red tote bag that was laying on its side next to a small tree that had been uprooted. One of the deputies observed what appeared to be the remnants of a fire near the root of the uprooted tree. The report stated:

“SGT. NEAL observed what appeared to be a partially burnt blue in color tarp. As he looked further down the embankment from the tarp, he observed a nude female laying on her back, grasping a small tree with her right hand.”

The deputies quickly moved in and determined that the body was located was Collier and that she was deceased. Deputies noted that Collier’s body was burned with “what appeared to be charring to her abdomen.”

Authorities are now working to determine how Collier was killed and how she ended up in that location. Investigators reported they do not believe that she had been kidnapped or committed suicide. Collier’s son, Jeffrey Bearden, asked for privacy for his family during this difficult time. Jeffrey said:

“I ask that all attention to the tragic story of my mother’s death remain focused on aiding the police investigation. There is no place for the court of public opinion in the pursuit of justice for my mother, and this speculation continues to be traumatic and hurtful for my family during the most difficult time we have ever experienced…

“I will never be able to fully articulate the loss of my mother and what she meant to me. She was my longest source of love, support, and encouragement. My mother was a very vibrant and strong soul. She was a person who valued kindness, empathy, and understanding throughout her entire life.”

Jeffrey went on to describe the type of person his mother was by saying:

“Daily life was filled with joy and beauty. She spent her time enjoying and making art. She valued listening to, dancing, and singing along with her favorite music. My mother consumed herself with the holidays, as her focus remained on family and the value of being together over a home-cooked meal…

“My mother was persistent in her love throughout my entire life, and I will persist until she is given the justice she deserves. Our lives have been irrevocably changed…Again, that is why I am asking you to please respect our privacy while we learn to cope and adjust with our loss.”

Investigators have yet to publicly speculate on the direction of their investigation, however, did note that they have served several search warrants in the case. Currently, the Habersham Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with any information to contact them at 706 839-0559.

Re-Fund the Police

Alert citizens flag down police, stop a kidnapping in progress and save the life of an innocent toddler

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Believing that something was not quite right, a handful of people flagged down officers patrolling the area. Those individuals told police about a suspicious man carrying a toddler.

Providing a description of the man, they pointed police in his direction. Sioux Falls police made contact with Michael Flann Neal, Jr., 36, who was walking with a 1-year-old.

Neal’s original story was that he was being shot at and was concerned for his safety. He said that he didn’t know who was shooting at him. There were no reports of shots being fired in the area to confirm his story.

According to KELO, police say his story wasn’t adding up and he appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When pressed on the toddler with him, he told authorities that he was the child’s uncle. As the conversation continued, Neal was unable to provide police with the parents’ names. As police detained the man and continued their questioning, two things came to light.

One, it was determined that the 36-year-old had an outstanding warrant. It is unknown what that warrant was for, but he was taken into custody for that warrant. While that was playing out, a call came into the SFPD regarding the child that was with Neal.

To no one’s surprise, Neal was in no way related to the toddler. While the child’s parents knew of Neal, there was no reason for him to have been with the toddler.

Here is what we know.

Earlier that day, while both parents were working, Neal went to their home where the 1-year-old was being watched by a nanny. He managed to force his way into the home. Police have not provided any details about how he was able to gain entry into the apartment.

The child’s caregiver attempted to stop Neal, but he simply pushed her aside, grabbing the toddler and rushing out.

While the investigation continues, officials have not yet been able to determine what the Neal’s plan was for the kidnapping. Could it have been for ransom or trafficking? Police are still trying to piece that all together.

Neal is now locked up on his previous warrant, as well as having been charged with 2nd-degree kidnapping and drug charges for possessing a small amount of meth.


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