Family, friends honor memory of Canton woman killed by ex-boyfriend in murder-suicide

Updated: May. 17, 2020 at 12:16 AM CDT
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CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - Balloons flying high for Pheonecia Ratliff in Canton, Saturday. Suzanne Ratliff, her mother, held back tears as she let them go.

“In honor of Pheonecia, fly high baby. God got you, fly," she said.

Ratliff was a 23-years-old; a senior at Jackson State University.

She was a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority, known among her line sisters as the peacemaker.

“Pheonecia was a very peaceful person. We were the ones on the line that love to eat, you know. Everybody can be so mad, but she always be there person that’s very positive about the whole situation. Even when I try to be down and stuff, she always say stuff to uplift me," said Vanessa, a line sister.

Police said Ratliff 's ex-boyfriend shot her sister and kidnapped her Thursday night. Ratliff reportedly had a restraining order against Jamarquis Black due to domestic violence.

Early Friday, Mississippi Highway Patrol spotted Black’s car and chased him down I-55 to the Bogue Chitto exit.

Police said Black shot Ratliff and then turned the gun on himself; both of them died from their injuries.

“She’s now a missing piece to our line and we cherish our line sisters because that’s a bond and a Sisterhood. Like she’s like blood to us and we love her and for us to show up and be a support to her and her family at this time was more than amazing for us," said Mercedes, a line sister.

We asked the sorority sisters to share their best memory with Ratliff.

There were many but they chose to share one of the most memorable -- when Ratliff said she was going to be a mom.

“The best memory is when she told us she was pregnant like that was like the greatest memory because like now she has a legacy to leave. She has somebody to live up to her name," said Bailey, another line sister.

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