Missing Fort Mill mom charged with neglect

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comJanuary 10, 2014 

Heather Ratliff

— A Fort Mill mother was arrested Friday after she was accused of leaving her three young children home alone for at least a day, according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report.

Heather Sue Ratliff, 44, 1426 Doe Ridge Lane, Fort Mill, was charged with three counts of unlawful neglect of a child/helpless person, and one charge of public disorderly conduct.

A neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office Jan. 9 after Ratliff’s children showed up at the neighbor’s house and asked for a ride to school, the report states. The neighbor told a deputy he didn’t see any vehicles in Ratliff’s driveway and went over to her house, but she didn’t appear to be at home.

The neighbor fed the children, ages 6, 8 and 10, breakfast and took them to school.

Deputies spoke with a school guidance counselor who said Ratliff’s children told her they hadn’t seen their mother since about 9 p.m. Jan. 8. Deputies went to Ratliff’s home did not find anyone, according to the report.

The Sheriff’s Office entered Ratliff’s information into a missing person’s database and issued an alert with her description.

It was unclear from the report when or where deputies found Ratliff and why she was charged with disorderly conduct. No other information was available.

Ratliff was being held at the county jail Friday evening, according to the Sheriff’s Office website.

The state Department of Social Services has begun an investigation, the report states, and a DSS case worker told deputies the children could be placed in the custody of their father, who lives at a different Fort Mill address.

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