Skull, bones determined to be from 9-year-old girl

Saturday, October 5, 2002

WENTWORTH, N.C. -- Bone fragments and a skull found on a rural property are the remains of a 9-year-old girl who vanished after her parents were fatally shot in their home seven weeks ago, authorities said Friday.

Investigators said they have not made any arrests but would like to talk with a man now in Canadian custody whose rented house and mobile home in Rockingham County were recently searched.

Jennifer Short's remains were discovered Sept. 25 near a home in Stoneville, N.C., about 30 miles south of her home. She had been shot in the head, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said.

Jennifer had been missing since Aug. 15, when her parents -- Michael Short, 50, and Mary Short, 36 -- were found shot to death in their Bassett, Va., home. Investigators had said they believed the girl had been abducted.

"The skeletal remains in Rockingham County have been determined to be a positive match with the DNA profile of Short and are hers," Page said.

The investigation and search for the little girl had been emotionally difficult, said Sheriff Frank Cassell of Henry County, Va.

"She's gone now and she's safe now and no evil can befall her," he said.

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