Ratliff car found in Jefferson County

Published 9:18 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

Almost three years to the day after 83-year-old Virginia Ratliffwent missing, her car has been found in a heavily wooded area inJefferson County, Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said.

Authorities at the scene said no foul play was suspected.

Henderson said the discovery of Ratliff’s 1999 Mercury GrandMarquis was made Friday morning by a man who had bought some landand was walking the property line.

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“We have identified it as the car we were looking for,”Henderson said.

The police chief said a body was also found at the location,although he did not want to elaborate early Friday afternoon.

“We’re almost certain we’ve found Mrs. Ratliff’s body. We foundidentifying marks,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker.

Walker said the car was found about 120 yards in the woods westof the Mississippi 28 and 33 intersection. The body was foundnearby.

Henderson said representatives from the state Crime Lab were atthe scene. Assistant Police Chief Nolan Jones was also present.

Ratliff’s disappearance has been a mystery since she leftBrookhaven on Feb. 28, 2008, to visit her husband Charles, alsoknown as “Ploochie,” at Jackson’s G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VAMedical Center, where he was staying for problems with hisgastrointestinal tract.

Intensive search efforts following her disappearance failed tolocate Ratliff or her vehicle.

Charles Ratliff, 87, died last June. A memorial service was heldto honor both him and his wife.

Additional details about Friday’s discovery will be posted asthey become available and in Sunday’s edition of The DAILYLEADER.