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May 23rd, 2006

One way I know I've been in this business too long is that every time I think of this incident, all I can come up with are bad puns ... However, I took them all out of the article before sending it on to my editor:


A Ligonier woman who told police she killed her boyfriend was being held after the man's body was found near Cromwell Sunday afternoon.

Christine A. Ratliff, 29, walked into the lobby of the Noble County Sheriff's Department at about 5:16 p.m. and told a confinement officer about the death, according to police.

Officers retrieved a key and entered a home at lot 154, in Shady Acres Mobile Home Park along CR 900W, where they found Ronald H. Moser dead in a rear bedroom. Moser had reportedly been struck numerous times in the head with a carpenter's claw hammer, which was recovered.

According to Sheriff Gary Leatherman, Ratliff and Moser had been remodeling the trailer together, and apparently no one was living there at the time. The chain of events that led to the death was not yet certain, although an investigation is continuing.

Moser was pronounced dead at the scene by the Noble County Coroner's Office, and an autopsy was planned for Monday to determine the exact cause and manner of death.

Technicians of the Sheriff's Department and Indiana State Police were called in to process evidence at the scene, as officials worked late into the night on the investigation. Ratliff was held in the jail without bond; Noble County Prosecutor Steven Clouse said he anticipated filing formal charges within 72 hours.

Agencies assisting include the Sheriff's Department, State Police, Coroner's and Prosecutor's Office, Noble County EMS, and Cromwell Police Department.

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