A former Georgia MMA fighter accused of threatening his girlfriend’s mother was arrested in connection with a domestic incident a year before her death after he accused his lover of stealing drug money. The dead woman’s son said her death was “the darkest and most painful time”.
Andrew Giegerich, 27, of Athens, Georgia, was arrested on September 4, 2021, for violating a no-contact order and battery at the home of his girlfriend, Amanda Bearden, who did not stop.
He claimed that his girlfriend at the time stole his drug money and kicked him out.
The arrest came nearly a year before he allegedly wrote a handwritten threatening message contained in police documents that said: “If you or your family come near me again, I will hurt them.” Have a nice life, lie. Never contact me again!!!” the New York Post reported.
Her mother Debbie Collier, 59, was found dead on September 11, 2022, her body naked, burned and tied to a tree in Athens.
The day before her death, Collier sent her daughter $2,385 via Venmo along with a strange note saying she was being held against her will. However, the investigation excludes suicide or kidnapping.
So far, neither Burden nor Giegerich appear on the list of suspects.
Andrew Giegerich, 27, of Athens (pictured) was arrested on Sept. 4, 2021, for violating a no-contact order and striking at the home of his girlfriend, Amanda Bearden, who was out partying.
He claimed Bearden stole $500 from each of his paychecks to spend on drugs after “manipulating” him into linking their cards
Burden, 36 (pictured unrelated) called police because he had been banging on her door at 8.30am and breached their no contact order
On the September 2021 body camera footage obtained Fox Newsit shows the MMA fighter being taken into custody after Bearden, 36, called the police because he was banging on her door and demanding money, which he claims she stole from him to buy drugs .
“That’s the only reason we’re in contact,” Giegerich told police. “Every week she takes [$500] or $600 out of my check and I don’t know how that’s right. She goes and makes dope with my money.
“I’ve made between $30,000 and $40,000 this year and I’m totally broke because she spent it all on drugs.”
Bearden, who has a criminal history including several incidents of domestic violence, called police to complain that her ex-boyfriend was “banging on the door and yelling” around 8.30am.
Giegerich was an MMA fighter (pictured in 2017)
Her ex claimed that she “manipulated” him into “linking our cards together so she could send herself money from my card” after he lost his phone, and that she was constantly sending herself money.
“She was the first person to touch my money,” he told police. ‘[She can] basically do whatever she wants with me, kick me out when she wants, basically just do whatever.
“And that’s okay because I’m a man. There’s nothing I can do about it except let her do it and walk away.”
The MMA fighter briefly mentioned Collier to police during his arrest in September 2021, saying: “I’ve been arrested before – the last time I was arrested was because they tampered with anything, I mean her mom… I don’t know what’s going on here. I don’t know why I’m so disliked (sic).”
The policemen reminded the soldier that he was not allowed on her territory and did not want to talk to him.
They eventually arrested him and asked if he could just “go home,” Fox News reported.
While in the back of a police cruiser, he became agitated and began pounding his cage and sobbing, Fox News reported. He feared he would not be released from prison until November, but the officer comforted him and said he would probably be released the next morning.
He assured officers that he had not used drugs, Fox News reported.
He was also arrested on September 16, 2022 for a probation violation and had a past domestic violence incident and was told to show proof of drug treatment within 20 days.
DailyMail.com spotted the couple leaving their home this week as the investigation into Debbie’s brutal murder gathers pace.
Her son Geoffrey Burden (pictured together) said his mother’s death was “the darkest and most painful time” in a statement released on Saturday
Her son wrote a heartfelt tribute to her on Facebook, saying his family’s life had been “irreversibly changed” after her death
Giegerich complained that the couple had recently been “interrogated” by police about Debbie’s death.
‘The [police have] interrogated all of us. People who are closest [Collier] they are now being looked at as suspects,” he told the Post.
Collier’s son Jeffery Bearden wrote a tribute to his mother on Saturday, writing: “I will never be able to fully articulate the loss of my mother and what she meant to me. She has been my longest source of love, support and encouragement.
“My mother was a very bright and strong soul. She was a person who valued kindness, compassion and understanding throughout her life. She went through life recognizing beauty and grace in everything she saw and experienced around her.”
He said the loss of his mother was “the darkest and most painful time” and “our lives were irrevocably changed”.
“Our grief is here and our pain is deep,” he wrote alongside photos of him and his mother.
This comes after it was learned that the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office had executed a search warrant at Burden’s home, Fox News reported, among several that were requested during the investigation.
Police did not respond to requests for comment on what was found during the search of Bearden’s residence.
In December 2020, Debbie posted these gruesome photos with a black eye on Facebook. She told her friends that she fell on the sidewalk
Debbie lived with her husband, Steve, at their home in Athens.
He fought back tears on Friday as he told DailyMail.com that Debbie was “the love of his life”.
The couple had been married for four to nine years and both had children from previous marriages.
“It’s been a long two weeks and I’m really tired. My wife was a wonderful person.”
A close friend of the couple, who did not want to be named, told DailyMail.com: “Steve loved Debbie with all his heart. I know that for sure.
“I can’t imagine what he’s going through right now, with the terrible loss of his wife and having to be involved in a murder investigation and all that entails.
“I knew them both for many years and they were a devoted couple.”
In a show of support, he added: “I know suspicion may fall on the family of the murder victims, but I would bet that in my lifetime Steve had nothing to do with Debbie’s disappearance.”
Debbie’s husband, Steve, reported her missing on September 10. He told police he last saw her at 9pm the night before but that they slept in different rooms because of his snoring
“She was a beautiful woman and I loved her,” Steve Collier said adoringly of his wife, 11 days after her charred, naked body was found in a ravine 60 miles from their Georgia home.
On September 10, Steve reported Debbie missing, claiming he hadn’t seen her since 9:00 pm the previous night at their home.
The night before she disappeared, neighbors heard a fight and screams coming from the house.
Police then tracked the car Debbie was driving – a rental SUV hired because her own car was being repaired – to a wooded ravine 60 miles from her home. Her naked body was found there, charred and tied to a tree.
The exact cause of her death remains unconfirmed.
When questioned, Bearden told police that she last saw her mother the night before she disappeared and that everything was fine. She received a Venmo message the day her mother was reported missing.
In an interview with CBS after her mother’s body was found, Amanda appeared shaken and struggled to speak.
“My mom was everything to me. Someone took my whole world away. She was a beautiful, kind, devoted woman. She didn’t deserve this, she said, her head and hands shaking.
Police have not yet ruled out any suspects.
Debbie had her car serviced and was driving a rental SUV when she died.
That car was equipped with a GPS tracking system that led police to her body after her husband reported her missing on September 10.
He was found 60 miles from the couple’s modest home where they lived quietly.