11 years pass since killings of Virginia Tech students; still no arrest made

WDBJ7's Ashley Boles reports
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 11:25 AM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Local, state and federal investigators still hope a website and $100,000 reward will generate renewed interest and more information about the 2009 murders of two Virginia Tech students.

Wednesday marks eleven years since 18-year-old Heidi Childs and 19-year-old David Metzler were murdered in the Caldwell Fields parking lot of the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County.

Virginia State Police say they have spent the past year pursuing about 50 new tips related to the deaths.

Police say Childs, of Bedford County, and Metzler, of Campbell County, were just weeks into their sophomore year at VT when they headed to Caldwell Fields in Metzler’s navy 1992 Toyota Camry. Investigators have determined it was sometime between 8:25 p.m. and 10 p.m. Aug. 26, 2009 when both were shot and killed. His guitar was still in the car, but her purse, credit cards, VT ID and lanyard, camera, and cell phone were gone and are still missing. Their bodies were discovered in that same parking lot early the next morning by a man walking his dogs.

“We are extremely encouraged by the number of tips and the amount of information provided to us during the past 12 months,” said Virginia State Police Special Agent W.S. Mitchell, the lead investigator assigned to the case. “Thanks to people finding the courage and compassion to come forward and share with us critical information related to the tragic murders of Heidi and David, we have been able to advance this case like never before. But, there are still those living in Montgomery County who have information related to this case and I want to appeal to them to please come forward and help us find justice for Heidi, David and their families. It’s been 11 years. Now is the time to do what’s right.”

The Aware Foundation will erect a billboard in November just outside Blacksburg on Route 460, hoping it will attract new information.

Parents share memories as police put new focus on murder investigation

A year ago, both families joined the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Blacksburg Police Department, Christiansburg Police Department, Virginia Tech Police Department, Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Virginia State Police, FBI, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia for a renewed public plea about the case.

Watch the news conference here.

A website has been established for the case; click VSPUnsolved.com.

The site has evolving content, featuring photos, a video tribute, and more information about the case. There is a section dedicated to receiving online tips from the public and tipsters can remain anonymous. Tips can also be received by phone at 540-375-9589.

With the support of the community, Virginia Tech and the FBI, the reward being offered for any information that leads to an arrest(s) in the murders of Metzler and Childs is $100,000.


A joint task force investigating the 2009 murders of David Metzler and Heidi Childs has scheduled a news conference to discuss the case.

Metzler and Childs were sophomores at Virginia Tech when they were killed in the Caldwell Fields area of Montgomery County August 26, 2009. The couple, originally from the Lynchburg area, had traveled to an isolated spot in the Jefferson National Forest to play music and enjoy a quiet conversation in Metzler’s Toyota Camry. Investigators confirmed Metzler was shot through a driver’s-side window and Heidi was gunned down immediately after she ran from the car.

In 2012, Montgomery County’s then-sheriff, Tommy Whitt, told reporters investigators have DNA evidence from the crime scene, and that the killer used a .30 caliber rifle to carry out the murders. Childs’ purse containing her cell phone, camera, Virginia Tech “Hokie Passport” identification and credit cards were taken following the murder. Little other information about the crime has been released.

Law enforcement from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and other investigating agencies will participate in a news conference Friday morning at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Metzler and Childs’ parents are also expected to offer remarks during the gathering.

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