Girl, Mistaken for Jennifer Short, Taken Briefly From Parents

An 11-year-old Danville girl and her parents received a scare when she was mistaken for Jennifer Short, the 9-year-old Virginia girl who has been missing since Aug. 15.

The family stopped at a gas station about 7 p.m. Monday. Another customer at the station saw the young girl, who bears a strong resemblance to Jennifer, and called Danville police.

The family left the station and were heading home when they were surrounded by three police cars.

The police explained the situation to the father, and took the tearful girl out of the family's van and placed her in a police cruiser, the girl's father said.

The parents used family photos and the girl's Social Security card, which the mother had in her wallet, to verify she was not the missing girl.

Danville Police Officer Jesse Wilson said the officers followed standard procedure in investigating a tip on a missing child.

Jennifer Short has been missing since Aug. 15, when her parents were found shot to death in the family home.