Investigators relaunch task force to help solve Short family murders: ‘We feel we’re close’

Investigators relaunch task force to help solve Short family murders: ‘We feel we’re close’

Investigators relaunch task force to help solve Short family murders: ‘We feel we’re close’

HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WGHP) — Investigators hope relaunching a task force dedicated to solving the Short family murders will bring them even closer to catching the family’s killer.

“There’s a part where we want to say we feel we’re close, but there’s being close to actually getting a warrant, but we know the warrant is not the end of it,” Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said Thursday afternoon.

It’s been two decades since parents Michael and Mary Short were found shot and killed execution-style in their home in Henry County on Aug. 15, 2002.

9-year-old Jennifer Short’s remains were found in a Rockingham County creek after a massive six-week search.

Four core investigators will make up the new investigative team, one from Henry County Sheriff’s Office, another from Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, a representative from Virginia State Police, and a federal task force officer.

Perry said the team is comprised of experienced investigators who don’t know much about the case.

“We want to let them take it and see what they develop again,” he explained.

The task force will review the first 911 call reporting the murder in the home, and interviews and evidence gathered in 2002.

“Everyone wants to see this case solved,” Perry said.

Search warrants show investigators pulled at least 138 pieces of evidence from the home off U.S. 220, including shell casings found near Michael and Mary’s bodies, a shotgun, rifle and ammunition, family business records, and a 2002 yearbook from Jennifer’s elementary school.

“We had an investigator that started taking everything and getting it ready for the task force, meetings started to take place, there’s actual work going on with the case right now,” the sheriff said.

Investigators have never shared details about DNA recovered at the home, and Perry believes evidence has not been retested in at least 3-5 years.

“All we will say outright is we want to make sure it has the most current testing procedures while we’re doing this that it can possibly have,” he said.

FOX8 asked how close investigators are to closing the case, and if there is anyone authorities need to hear from.

“We do have people that this is focused around, we’re not at liberty to say who, but yes we do have things that point us in the directions with people and we are working those leads and have worked with them in the past,” Perry said.

According to authorities, Henry County and the Martinsville-Henry County Crimestoppers are currently offering a reward of $62,500 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the Short family members’ deaths.

If you have any information about this investigation, you are asked to call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

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