Uncle accused of killing niece

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

A Pike County man is charged with the murder of his niece.

Witnesses say David Ratliff shot and killed Rachel Ratliff in the community of Regina early Saturday morning.

One neighbor, who would not go on camera, says the uncle and niece fought often, and she called police to the area more than once. Someone first called KSP Pikeville at 7:28 about an incident.

"The dispatchers were able to tell from the call that some type of disturbance was going on there," Trooper Mike Goble said.

Troopers immediately left for Frankie Fork Road in Regina. However, they were too late.

"Upon entering the residence, found the body of Rachel Lee Ratliff," Goble said.

Witnesses say David Ratliff shot his niece and next-door neighbor Rachel Ratliff in the face, killing her almost instantly. When police arrived on the scene, David Ratliff was exiting through the back door. Though they were able to arrest him, he was possessing a handgun.

"They secured the area and evacuated any and all people that were in the residence," Goble said.

People including a six-year-old boy, and Rachel Ratliff's boyfriend. Goble says it is likely alcohol was involved, but there are still a lot of details to sort out.

"Our detectives are still investigating at the scene, and we're trying to learn all the circumstances around what went on," Goble said.

One neighbor says that although she could hear the two scream at each other on occasion, she never expected something like this to happen.

David Ratliff is currently in custody at the Pike County Detention Center. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

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