Fort Mill mother 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.

After an investigation, Heather Sue Ratliff, 44, of 1426 Doe Ridge Lane, Fort Mill, was charged with three counts of Unlawful Neglect Of Child/helpless Person and one charge of Public Disorderly Conduct. A neighbor of Ratliff’s called the sheriff’s office on Jan. 9 after Ratliff’s children went to the neighbor’s house and asked for a ride to school, the report states. The neighbor told a sheriff’s office deputy he didn’t see any vehicles in Ratliff’s driveway and went to her house to check but she didn’t appear to be home.

The neighbor gave the children, ages 6, 8 and 10, breakfast and took them to school. Deputies spoke with a guidance counselor at the school who said Ratliff’s children told her they hadn’t seen their mother since about 9 p.m. on Jan. 8. Deputies made a well-being check at Ratliff’s home and entered through an unlocked front door after no one responded to their knocking or calls, according to the report. They said in the report that they did not find Ratliff or anyone else in the house.

The sheriff’s office then entered Ratliff’s information into the missing person’s database and issued an alert with her description, according to the report.

The S.C. Department of Social Services was contacted and a case worker opened an investigation. The report states that the case worker said the children could be placed into the custody of their father, who is listed as residing at a different Fort Mill address.

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

Ratliff was still being held at the county jail Friday evening, according to the sheriff’s office website.

Michael Harrison •  803-547-2353

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