CNN BREAKING NEWS
Remains Found Yesterday Not Jennifer Short's
Aired September 26, 2002 - 10:09 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Want to look at a breaking news story that we've been following out of North Carolina now, a grim discovery that would seem to compound the mysterious disappearance of Jennifer Short. You remember her, she's the 9-year-old who's been missing since August 15 when both of her parents were killed. Forensic experts now say that the remains discovered yesterday do not match the little girl who vanished five weeks ago from that home.
Our Gary Tuchman has been following the story, and he joins us now from Stoneville with more.
Gary, good morning.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, good morning to you.
And this is such a sad and distressing story. It was exactly six weeks ago that Jennifer Short was reported missing, and this is after her parents were found dead in their home, killed from single gunshot wounds, the phone lines in the house cut, so they've been looking for this little girl for six weeks.
Yesterday a report here in Rockingham County, North Carolina, which is 30 miles away from where she lived, a man said his dog had found human remains. Indeed a skull was found, some teeth were found, other bone fragments. They are going to bring most of the bone fragments and the skull to a lab in California, but they've brought some of the hair that was found in the skull to a lab in Virginia. And a short time ago, the sheriff of Henry County, Virginia, reported what they found when investigating the hair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK CASSELL, SHERIFF, HENRY COUNTY, VIRGINIA: The analysis -- microscopic analysis indicated that this hair sample probably was not Jennifer Short. However, that is not a definitive answer. There will be further tests run today, maybe even as we speak, they will try to run DNA analysis to make a further effort to determine whether or not this skeletal remains is Jennifer Short. But it appeared from the microscopic analysis not to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Now we had been told earlier the hair that was found in the skull was red hair. This little girl had a sandy blond hair or a light brown hair. But the fact is it's not definite yet. You heard the sheriff, it's probably not her; but this nightmare does continue for the aunt and uncle and other family members of this little girl. Just four days ago, her aunt and uncle were named her legal guardians, so they still have to have hope that she's alive because it appears the skeletal remains they have found are not little Jennifer Short.
Daryn, back to you.
KAGAN: Well, Gary, that brings up the big question, if they don't belong to Jennifer Short, who do they belong to? Are there other cases of missing girls in the area?
TUCHMAN: Earlier this morning the sheriff here said there weren't any missing people here in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Now we're being told there may be one or two. But, Daryn, they're not even sure if this skeleton is a little girl's. First of all, they don't know the gender for sure. They thought it was a small skull, but they're also saying the teeth they found are big teeth. So it may not even be a child's remains, so they're really not sure.
KAGAN: So now we have two mysteries to track down in that area. Gary Tuchman, thank you so much.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com