CLINTON, MS (WLBT) – It's been almost two and a half years since Virginia Ratliff disappeared from her Brookhaven home.
Years that remained a mystery to her family.
But now her husband has died, and family members took the time to honor them both.
This July fourth Caby Bryne gazes at the American flag outside his Clinton home remembering the patriotic brother-in-law Charles Ratliff who gave it to him.
The World War II veteran died Tuesday at the V.A. Center in Jackson.
"Being a Fourth of July weekend it's almost like he planned it," said Bryne.
But there isn't a day that goes by that Bryne doesn't think of his sister Virginia Ratliff.
No one has seen the 83-year-old since she disappeared from her Brookhaven home February 28th of 2008.
On that day she was returning to Jackson to see her husband at the V.A.
"We followed countless leads. There was none that was to frivolous or too bizarre that we couldn't check into it and see but there was nothing whatsoever that gave us a thought as to what happened," said Bryne.
Family members described the couple as extremely close and said for the past 30 years they dressed alike.
As the search continued for Virginia Ratliff her husband returned to their home.
But he was recently readmitted to the V.A. hospital where he died.
Relatives decided to finally say goodbye to them both during a funeral Friday in Brookhaven.
"We had a joint service for the two of them and Brookhaven friends spoke and things were said. They were known as the twins in Mississippi. They were inseparable," said Byrne.
The couple was married for 62-years when Ratliff disappeared.
Those attending the service found some comfort.
"I don't know how you ever get closure. My mind still wanders. I mean she's still missing, but none the less I feel good about what was done. I feel good about the many friends that were there," said Byrne.
Family members said they are also comforted by the fact that Ratliff's disappearance led to Mississippi's creation of the Silver Alert System for missing seniors, similar to the Amber Alert System for missing children.
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