- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) - The investigation of the 2002 slayings of a Virginia family is shifting focus as investigators look into the possibility that the 9-year-old daughter may have been the target.

Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry told multiple outlets that investigators are asking Jennifer Short’s childhood friends to think back to when she and her parents were killed and see if they remember anything.

“We were thinking, is there a group out there that we haven’t reached out to?” Perry said. “The thought occurred to us that if Jennifer were alive, she would be college-aged now.”

Jennifer Short’s parents, Michael and Mary Short, were found fatally shot in their home on Aug. 15, 2002. Her remains were found six weeks later in Rockingham County, North Carolina. She also had been shot.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Perry said much of the early investigation focused on whether or not someone held a grudge against Michael or Mary Short. He said this is the first time his office has formally reached out to Jennifer Short’s childhood friends to see if they remember any unusual attention directed toward her.

“When this happened, it sent a shockwave through the entire region,” Perry said. “If somebody was on a team with her or shared a classroom, I’m sure they remember what happened. We’re just asking them to think back to that time frame. . Did Jennifer ever say anything to them? Did they ever have unwanted attention? Did they ever observe anything suspicious?”

Perry also said because Jennifer Short was active in sports, they are asking anyone who may have coached her to think back and see if they remember anything like complaints from other parents.

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