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Fire Hero Charged with Murdering his Wife Denied Bond

12:53 PM, Sep 29, 2007   |    comments
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BRYCEVILLE, FL -- A man hailed as a hero for bravely pulling his family out of their burning home is now under arrest for the murder of his wife. He was denied bond in his first court appearance Saturday morning. Effie Ratley, 29, died in January two days after authorities found her at her home unconscious and bleeding from a gash in her head. A month earlier, her husband Michael claimed he had rescued her and their two-week old son from their burning mobile home in Bryceville. Nine months later, investigators got the results of forensics evidence taken the night of January 27th. They say the evidence shows Michael Ratley killed his wife. Authorities arrested Ratley at the home of his parents Friday morning without incident. Sheriff Tommy Seagraves told First Coast News more evidence continues to be processed in the ongoing investigation, and more charges could follow in the weeks and months ahead. Asked if Ratley was cooperating with investigators, Sheriff Seagraves said he has hired an attorney and is not answering any questions on advice of counsel. Related stories:

  • Father Pulls Wife & Baby from Burning Home
  • Fire Survivor's Death Suspected as Homicide

    First Coast News

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