Husband speaks about wife’s disappearance

Published 5:00 am Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday marks two weeks since Virginia Ratliff disappeared, andfamily members are just as stymied today as they were the day shewas reported missing.

Ratliff’s husband, Charles “Ploochie” Ratliff, said when hereturned home from the VA hospital in Jackson earlier this week, henoticed a few things that were out of order.

“I had a pea coat from L.L. Bean, and it was gone. She had thesame coat, you know,” he said Wednesday while discussing his wife’sdisappearance. “She might have been bringing it to me.”

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Ratliff said his electric razor, slippers and a small suitcasewere also gone, along with Virginia Ratliff’s billfold. He saidwhile her purse was still in the house, it was not unusual for herto take her billfold out and travel only with it.

The hardest part is the what-ifs, Ratliff said.

Ratliff said he was in the hospital for the second of twosurgeries that were supposed to be done at one time. He said thedoctor postponed the second in order to go to a football game.

“If he’d done it all at one time, it’d all be OK right now,” hesaid, saying he’s been having a hard time sleeping since he gothome.

March 17 will be the Ratliffs’ 62nd wedding anniversary.

Ratliff said he refuses to give up hope. He said the prayers offamily and friends have been a great source of comfort during theuncertain times.

“I believe she got lost in Jackson maybe. I believe she wasgoing to Jackson from all the things she took,” he said. “Andeveryone calls to tell me they’re praying.”

Ratliff said he keeps remembering little things that might makea difference in someone’s noticing Virginia’s car, such as somemagnetic ribbons on the back of it, or the missing back hubcap.

He said the most important thing he could think of to say isjust to ask people to keep looking for his wife.

“Everyone just please keep looking, and please keep praying,” hesaid.

Meanwhile, Ratliff’s brother Buck Ratliff praised the efforts ofthe law enforcement and others who have put time, money and effortinto the search.

“This has been the best coordinated effort I’ve ever seen,” hesaid. “I’m really proud of the way people have participated andgotten involved.”

The family continues to think positively, said sister-in-lawAgnes Ratliff.

“We’re going to get Virginia back,” she said. “We’re going tocontinue to hope and be positive until there’s a reason notto.”

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said leads have sloweddown, but that area law enforcement are still activelysearching.

“We’re still looking constantly and have agencies in surroundingareas looking as well,” he said. “We continue to contact thetelevision stations, asking them to continue to run her picture sothat people will know we’re still looking.”