Missing Woman's remains found in Jefferson C - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Missing Woman's remains found in Jefferson County

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By Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The remains of a missing, elderly Brookhaven woman have been found.   Eighty-two-year old Virginia Ratliff was discovered along with her 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis just south of Fayette near the intersection of Highways 28 and 33.

The owner of the land nearby found Ratliff's car and notified the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department that made another discovery.

"We saw tennis shoes on the ground.  From there, from the tennis shoes we saw a skull.  We got completely out of area and called MBI back and said hey, we have a body," said Sheriff Peter Walker.

State troopers, MBI agents, Brookhaven Police and Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies swarmed the area.

"We're certain it is her body," said Sheriff Walker.  He believed Ratliff made a mistake, like so many other drivers have at the intersection.  Walker said the 82 year old likely continued to drive where Highway 28 ends which leads to a dirt driveway and then into the woods.  Her remains were found about 50 feet from the vehicle.

"Miss Ratliff left the vehicle, probably tried to come for some help I'm guessing because her keys were out of the vehicle," said Sheriff Walker. 

Ratliff went missing February 28, 2008 after visiting her husband at the VA Hospital in Jackson.  She lived in Brookhaven, but never returned there leaving her brother with only questions as to what could have happened.

"Any lead we could get it was not a bad lead.  No matter how ridiculous it might sound we tried it," said Ratliff's only brother Caby Byrne.  Finally on Friday answers came.  "I'm just grateful for the memories she left me and the good times we had together," said Byrne.

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