Police spent several hours Tuesday night investigating two reports from people who said they saw an armed man with a girl who looked like a missing 9-year-old girl from Virginia.
Police said that both reports were credible, although they had no way of knowing whether the girl in either case was actually Jennifer Short, who has been missing and presumed kidnapped since Thursday.
Jennifer was feared abducted when her parents, Michael and Mary Short, were fatally shot. They were found at their home in Bassett, Va., but there was no sign of Jennifer.
A man who called police said he saw a girl who looked like Jennifer in a dark-blue truck. The man said that the truck was stopped at a light, and when he looked at the truck, the driver pointed a handgun at him, said Sgt. R.L. Nelson of the Winston-Salem Police Department.
The caller, Ray Steven Childers, said he then ran. Childers described the man in the truck as a white male, 35 to 38, with gray hair, a beard and mustache, Nelson said.
Officers searched the area for several hours but didn't find the vehicle or any other witnesses. They issued a statewide bulletin on the truck.
Police received a second report about 8:45 p.m. from a woman who said that she saw a girl who looked like Jennifer at a Quality Mart store just miles from the first reported spotting, police Lt. S.C. Peddle said.
The woman told police that she saw the girl with a white man, who had brown hair, a brown beard and brown mustache, Peddle said. The man drove an older white car, and had a handgun in his hand, said the woman, whose name was not released.