Hundreds Remember Short Family With Annual Bike Ride, Say They Haven't Given Up Hope
Bassett,VA-- Friday marked 12 years since the mystery murders that shook Henry County.
Parents, Michael and Mary Short, and their daughter Jennifer were shot to death. Although it happened back in 2002, the memories of the family are still alive in the community.
Hundreds paid tribute to them on Sunday with a bike ride. They drove in honor of the family, but specifically Jennifer Short. The proceeds of the ride go to a memorial scholarship fund in her name. It's a yearly reminder that the community still has hope for a conviction in this case.As hundreds of motorcycles and cars zoomed down 220 South in Henry County, the drivers said they have one thing on their mind."Nobody has been convicted, nobody has been brought to justice, and we don't want people to forget the family," said Ray Reynolds, the Jennifer Short Memorial Scholarship Bike/Car Ride organizer.In 2002, the Short family's home on Oak Level Road turned into a crime scene when husband and wife Michael and Mary were found shot to death. Their 9-year-old daughter, Jennifer, missing. Her body was found a month later in North Carolina with a gun shot wound to the head. 12 years later there are still no arrests or convictions.
"It tore the whole community up around here," said Jimmy Mullins, who lived less than a mile from the Short family.For Reba Arrington-Sink, Michael Short's first cousin, it seems like yesterday."It's been on my mind every day, and I can't get over it. I can't understand why. I know they're working hard and they're trying to do everything they can. Please I beg you, if anybody knows anything to unlock this case, to find out who this murder was... the cold blooded murder that went in the middle of the night and did this, please come forward. I beg you to please come forward," she said.
That's why every year since the murders, the Jennifer Short Memorial Scholarship Bike and Car Ride pays tribute to the family. It serves as a big reminder that locals still have faith and hope that justice will be served.
"I kind of feel like it's important for us to keep it alive," said Larry Lackey, who participated in the ride."You never know, just one piece of evidence could break this case wide open," said Arrington-Sink.
Since the ride started 12 years ago, it's raised between $13,000 and $15,000 for scholarships at Bassett High School.
Henry County Sheriff, Lane Perry, said the case is still active. He said they recently had a group of outside investigators go over their work on the case.
He said they'll execute the suggestions that were made.