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Man in Canada to be questioned in Jennifer Short case

No one named as a suspect

Jennifer Short
Jennifer Short

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STONEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) -- Authorities are planning to travel thousands of miles to the Canadian Northwest Territories to question a U.S. man about the shooting deaths of 9-year-old Jennifer Short and her parents, the Rockingham County sheriff said Saturday.

Sheriff Sam Page said the 66-year-old man, who is being held by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for alleged immigration violations, is among several people police want to interview.

No one has been named as a suspect in the case.

Page said late Friday it was possible that the man being held, described as an outdoorsman, could be deported to the United States.

"We'll go anywhere we've got to go interview any witnesses in this case," Page said. "We feel we need to talk to him. He may have some information that may be beneficial."

Jennifer vanished August 15, the same day her parents were found dead in their Bassett, Virginia, home.

On Friday, police confirmed that DNA testing showed that a partial skull and bones recently found in Rockingham County, North Carolina, belong to the girl. Page said Jennifer, like her parents, died from a bullet wound.

Authorities began looking for the man after a search of his mobile home in Rockingham County turned up a map on which the community around the Short home was marked.

The mounted police force in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, said it arrested the U.S. citizen sought by North Carolina and Virginia authorities -- whom they did not name -- on Thursday. Police said he was taken into custody at the request of Citizen and Immigration Canada.

In its statement, the RCMP said the man was transported from Inuvik to Yellowknife for further questioning by immigration and law enforcement officials.

The Northwest Territories are one of three Canadian territories which have substantial autonomy from the federal government.

A resident of Rockingham County, North Carolina, about 30 miles from the Short home, found Jennifer's skull, with hair still attached, September 25 when he spotted his dogs with what he initially thought was a wig. Authorities called to investigate also found a part of a rib cage. Other remains have since been found.

An employee of Jennifer Short's father found the bodies of Michael and Mary Short in their home. Both died from a single gunshot wound to the head; a spent .22-caliber shell casing was found near each body.

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