CRIME

Keith Ratliff, Slain FPSRussia Gun Advocate, 'Not Tied Up,' Georgia Police Says

01/10/2013 04:19 pm ET | Updated Jan 10, 2013

Georgia police are refuting claims that slain YouTube gun activist Keith Ratliff was found bound and murdered on a rural road.

Ratliff -- the victim of a single gunshot wound to the head -- was found Jan. 3 in an apparent homicide at the weapons development and testing facility he operated in Carnesville, Ga.

"He was not tied up," Mike Ayers, Georgia Bureau of Investigations special agent, told The Huffington Post.

Ayers also confirmed that Ratliff's death "took place at the business," rather than outdoors near a highway.

Both apparently false reports circulated Wednesday, one week after Ratliff was last seen alive. The 32-year-old was discovered unresponsive and a coroner pronounced him dead at about 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3, officials said.

"There was no sign of a struggle," John Bankhead, GBI director of public affairs, told HuffPost.

Bankhead also refuted the notion that Ratliff was "bound" and said "he was in his office" when police found him.

Ratliff was an outspoken gun advocate best known for his contributions to the FPSRussia, one of YouTube's top 10 channels. The site, which features high-power firearm demonstrations, commands nearly 3.5 million subscribers and has generated more than 500 million page views.

In one clip, posted to his personal YouTube account, Ratliff discusses his thoughts on gun rights, proclaiming, "I am a gun nut."

"Every one of you should be able to own an assault weapon of your choice because that’s what the Second Amendment is about," he said in the video. "It’s about owning weaponry to allow you to defend yourself from all enemies no matter where they rise from.”

Though multiple weapons were found at the crime scene, investigators believe that the gun used to kill Ratliff was not left behind.

"Right now, we are still interviewing people, following leads and putting the case together," Ayers said. "The investigation will take us where the leads take us."

Ratliff is survived by his wife and 2-year-old son in Kentucky.

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