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Search for Ratliff not forgotten

Brookhaven police and other area law enforcement officials arestunned that there is still no trace of a missing 83-year-oldBrookhaven woman more than three months into the search.

Virginia Ratliff, who disappeared on Feb. 28, is believed tohave been driving her white 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis, possibly toJackson to see her husband at the VA hospital where he was havingsurgery. She has not been seen or heard from since.

“We’re still looking,” said Police Chief Pap Henderson. “We’restill asking people to help us out by keeping their eyes open,reporting similar vehicles. We just need to keep it going.”

Questions were raised about another missing person, Frank Damicoof Jackson, went missing April 6 after leaving the VA hospital. Hisbody was later found in Holmes County with a gunshot wound.Authorities had seen images on a hospital security tape that ledthem to believe his disappearance was foul play.

Henderson said such was not the case for Ratliff.

“They told us that they looked at the tapes,” Henderson said,citing a conversation with hospital security. “That was in thefirst 48 hours after her disappearance.”

In addition, aerial surveillance teams, including one withhigh-technology digital mapping capabilities, have been in the areamultiple times now. Henderson said bringing them back is still apossibility.

“We plan to sit down and look at what we’ve got, because theysaid they’d come back if we really need them to,” he said.

Another thing that bothers Henderson is the possibility thatRatliff could have gone anywhere on the three-quarters of a tank ofgas she had at the time of the disappearance.

Officials said Ratliff is also listed on National CrimeInformation Center databases. If she encounters law enforcementanywhere in the country, the computer will show her as missing inBrookhaven.

“We have not given up, and we don’t want anyone else to either,”Henderson said. “We are still looking for Mrs. Ratliff and we stillneed as much help as possible from the public.”

Ratliff is described as a white woman about 5-foot-1 and 135pounds, and is believed to have been driving her white 1999 MercuryGrand Marquis bearing Lincoln County tag 987-LIH. Anyone withinformation on her whereabouts is asked to call the BrookhavenPolice Department at (601) 833-2424.