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Henry County Sheriff reopens Short family murder investigation

Mary and Michael Short were shot to death in their Henry County home in 2002. The body of their...
Mary and Michael Short were shot to death in their Henry County home in 2002. The body of their daughter, Jennifer, was found six weeks later in Rockingham County, NC.(WDBJ7)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:22 AM EDT
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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry hosted a news conference Thursday morning on the reopening of the Short family murder case. Watch it here:

Perry says he has assembled a multi-agency task force to review the murders of Michael, Mary and Jennifer Short in 2002.

Through the passing of time, most of the original investigators have retired or left law enforcement, according to Perry. He says the task force will bring new investigators up to speed with the case to look for information that may lead to a suspect. He says, “They will be reviewing case in its entirety. This review will include the physical evidence to determine if advancements in forensic technology may be able to develop a suspect.”

The task force is comprised of personnel from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, Virginia State Police and Rockingham County, NC Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Lane Perry thanks the community for never allowing this case to be forgotten. “We believe there is someone out there who has information that may solve this case. We encourage people to come forward with that information, no matter how small it may seem.”

Henry County and the Martinsville–Henry County Crimestoppers are offering a reward of $62,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths.

Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

We learned late Wednesday investigators are reopening the case, as no one has been arrested for the deaths of the family.

In 2002, Mike and Mary Short were shot to death in their home in Henry County. Their 9-year-old daughter Jennifer was missing until her body was found six weeks later in Rockingham County, North Carolina.

In February 2019, the family’s home in Henry County burned to the ground. Investigators said at the time the murders and fire didn’t appear to be connected. The sheriff says he thinks all useable evidence was already retrieved from the home, and the investigation won’t be hurt by the loss of the house.

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