By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
New developments have surfaced in the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of Keith Ratliff – the owner of FPS Industries in Carnesville.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, federal investigators descended on Carnesville and Hart County Wednesday with warrants.
“Two search warrants were going to be executed; one in Franklin County and one in Hart County”, said Thomas. “The properties where the warrants were taken out are related to the Ratliff incident.”
Thomas would not say whose property in Franklin County was searched or what was taken away from that property.
In Hart County, Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said about 50 ATF and GBI agents converged on the farm Ratliff owned with FPS Russia host Kyle Myers.
“They were conducting a search warrant in reference to those explosives that the two guys would use to blow up stuff”, said Cleveland. “They were actually blowing stuff up in Hart County.”
Most of the 25-acre farm on Misty Mill and Caney Branch Roads, Cleveland said is in Hart County.
He said the pair was using an explosive that ATF authorities believe may have been used illegally.
“The explosives were Tannerite, and you mix it with something else and shoot it with a high power rifle to cause a massive explosion”, said Cleveland. “Its legal up to certain pounds, but you could not mix the compounds until you were on site, and agents were looking for violations in the guidelines dealing with those explosions.”
Cleveland said he was not sure if the search for explosives on the farm is tied to the Ratliff homicide investigation.
On January 3rd, the body of 32-year old Keith Ratliff was found on his property off Hayes Road and Highway 320 in Carnesville.
An autopsy determined Ratliff died of a single gunshot wound to the head. According to Thomas, friends found Ratliff inside his locked office.
So far, no suspects have been named in the case and investigators will not say whether they have any person or persons of interest.