Fire guts home of family whose 2002 slayings remain unsolved

BASSETT, Va. (AP) — More than 16 years after the still-unsolved slayings of the Short family, their Virginia home has burned to the ground.

The Martinsville Bulletin reports that the former home of Michael, Mary and Jennifer Short was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning. Collinsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tyler Beam says the house appeared unoccupied.

Michael and Mary Short were found dead in that house on Aug. 15, 2002, each with a gunshot wound to the head. Their 9-year-old daughter, Jennifer, was found dead with a gunshot to the head six weeks later in Rockingham County, North Carolina, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of her home.

Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry says his office is waiting for the fire marshal's findings to see how the fire could affect the murder investigation.

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Information from: Martinsville Bulletin, http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com