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Five-year mark passes with no new public details in slayings of Tech students

Five-year mark passes with no new public details in slayings of Tech students


Five years ago today the bodies of two Virginia Tech students were found in the parking lot of the Caldwell Fields campground in Montgomery County.

Their slayings remain unsolved.

Heidi Childs, 18, of Forest and David Metzler, 19, of Lynchburg were killed the evening of Aug. 26, 2009. Both were shot with a .30-30 rifle between 8:25 and 10 p.m., authorities have said.

The couple’s bodies were found the next morning by a man walking his dog along Craig Creek Road. Metzler was found inside his car, a dark 1992 Toyota Camry. Childs was outside it.

A multijurisdictional task force was assembled and a reward was established that has reached more than $70,000, but no arrests have been made.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Robert New said Tuesday that there is no new information to be released at this time.

The last time that details emerged about the case was in March 2012, when Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt held a news conference to announce that DNA evidence had been found.

Whitt said at the time that investigators were using that evidence to compare with DNA samples collected from nearby residents and people who frequented the area.

During that news conference, Whitt declined to answer questions or offer any further information on the DNA evidence.

Whitt also revealed in 2012 that Heidi Childs’ purse was stolen from the crime scene. It contained her silver Motorola Razr phone, silver Sony Cybershot camera, an ID card, Virginia Tech lanyard and a credit card.

None of those items had been recovered, Whitt said at the time.

Whitt said that investigators had identified a number of vehicles that were on the road that evening, and were still attempting to locate a few of them.

“It is highly likely that someone observed the suspect on Craig Creek Road that night,” Whitt has said.

Investigators have called the killings random, saying that they have not found a motive for them.

Childs and Metzler had been a couple for about four years, according to their families.

Metzler, the youngest of four children, had graduated from Brookville High School. Childs, the fourth of eight children, was home schooled.

Investigators have said they were last seen about 8 p.m. Aug. 26 at Childs’ apartment in Blacksburg, where she had just moved with five friends.

They had planned to talk and play their guitars at Caldwell Fields but weren’t going to stay very long because Childs had a lot of homework to do that night, her family has said.

Reached on Facebook on Tuesday, Heidi Childs’ mother, Laura, deferred comment to her husband. Her husband, Don Childs, had not contacted The Roanoke Times as of Tuesday evening.

A phone number believed to be the Metzlers’ had been disconnected.

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