Investigators share new clues, questions in the mysterious death of a Fernandina Beach housesitter

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — Who killed Colleen Potts?

It’s been over a week since the 73-year-old was found dead inside a home she was housesitting, and the Fernandina Beach Police Department is inching toward an answer.

Action News Jax told you on Oct. 24, that Potts, who was a well-known dog walker and pet sitter in the area, was found lying face down on the couch in the living room area of the home. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Police called Potts’ death a “terrible tragedy,” saying on Facebook, “Because Colleen can no longer speak for herself, it is now our responsibility to speak for her and seek justice on her behalf, a responsibility that we take very seriously.”

Potts was last seen in the early hours of Sunday evening driving her white Kia Soul.

On Tuesday the FBPD said they now believe someone may have entered her unlocked car Saturday night and stolen money.

Investigators say there was no obvious sign of a struggle inside the home when Potts was found. Curiously, the homeowners’ dogs, who are reportedly protective of the home, were inside the house and unharmed when police first entered.

Last week detectives said they know how the Yulee woman died but could not share those details yet. “We do not have anyone currently as a person of interest. We do have some leads that we’re tracking down,” Fernandina Beach Police Deputy Chief Jeffrey Tambasco said.

Some neighbors we spoke with said they didn’t personally know Potts but may have seen her walking dogs down the street once or twice.

“I hope they catch him or her, we don’t know, quickly so everybody can be at ease,” said neighbor Cindy Nance. “We usually leave our back door open so the dog and cats can go in and out, but I’m not gonna do that anymore until this is resolved.”

FBPD is asking anyone who saw Potts’ vehicle at any location on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 24, to contact Detective Christina Corbitt at (904) 310-3218.

If you have information and would like to remain anonymous, contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477. Information leading to an arrest could make you eligible for a reward.


Samantha Mathers

Samantha Mathers, Action News Jax

Samantha Mathers is a digital reporter and content creator.