Cold case team in Morgan County hopes to solve murder mystery

MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is trying to bring closure for some families of cold cases.

It launched a cold case team about a year ago to look into those cases, including the murder of 24-year-old Ronli Ratliff.

The team is made up of three volunteer investigators from Mooresville, Martinsville, and Beech Grove.

“We think that all the information that we have that has been given to us, turned over to us,” said cold case investigator Rich Witmer. “We believe the answer is in there. It’s talking to the right people, maybe talking to some of the same people again.”

It was in 2004 when firefighters put out a house fire on Dayhuff Road in Mooresville. Inside the home, they discovered the body of Ratliff.

Investigators believe someone killed her, then set the house on fire to cover up the crime.

“You know all the signs in this case, she died a violent death,” said Witmer. “She was killed before the fire.”

Witmer is working on the cold case with help from two other investigators. He said they are giving a fresh look to everything.

“The interviews range everything from cassette tapes to CDs to video tapes to VHS to thumb drives,” Witmer said.

Investigators are now in the process of interviewing witnesses, family, and friends of Ratliff. Witmer said that list includes 25 to 30 names.

“We’re hoping that maybe somebody who didn’t come forward 12 years ago, or even a year ago when this case was highlighted will consider coming forward now,” Witmer said. “Every bit of information is accepted.”

It was the 12 year anniversary of Ratliff’s death last week. Witmer is now hoping with new light on the case, they can finally put together the pieces to find the person responsible for the crime.

“Our hearts obviously go out to the family and it’s something that we never get over,” said Witmer. “If this case is successfully prosecuted, Ronli is still gone, but it does bring a sense that there’s an accountability factor that hopefully we can bring this case to a closure.”

Witmer said there are a number of cold cases waiting to be looked at in Morgan County after this one.

If you know anything about the murder of Ronli Ratliff in Mooresville you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262- TIPS.

Comments are closed.