Aug 2009Heidi Childs and David Metzler
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2...4801-ar-32642/The fragile calm of a Virginia Tech community still traumatized by the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history was shattered again yesterday when two students were found dead, apparently shot, in the Jefferson National Forest.
The bodies of Heidi Lynn Childs, 18, and David Lee Metzler, 19, both of the Lynchburg area, were found by a passer-by around 8 a.m. in the parking area at Caldwell Fields - a campground popular with Tech students located about 15 miles from campus in northern Montgomery County.
Montgomery Sheriff Tommy Whitt said both victims appeared to have been shot, but he declined to identify where or how many times. Metzler's body was found inside a car; Childs' body was found outside the vehicle.
"It's brutal. It's ugly," Whitt said.
No weapon was found at the scene, and authorities are investigating the shootings as a double homicide.
Metzler was a sophomore at Tech majoring in industrial and systems engineering. Childs, also a sophomore, was an honors student and biochemistry major attending Tech on full scholarship, said her father, Donald Childs.
"She was supposed to be at an honors meeting at 8 this morning," Childs said last night during a brief phone interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"She was a fine young lady. . . . I have eight children, and you know, the number of children you have has no bearing on your loss," said Childs, an aviation sergeant with the Virginia State Police. "A wonderful, wonderful girl."
Childs said his daughter and Metzler were friends who had "known each other for years" and attended the same church. He called Metzler "a fine young man."
Both students lived off campus.
Metzler, a 2008 graduate of Brookville High School, was a good soccer player and enjoyable to coach and teach, said John Vasvary, a retired assistant principal and athletic director at the school.
"He just stood out because he had such a good personality," Vasvary told The Lynchburg News & Advance. "He was from a good family all around."
A friend who answered the phone at the Metzler home last night said the family would not make a statement.
Childs said his daughter and Metzler were part of a group of about 30 local students who were going to Tech and active in Campus Crusade for Christ.
"It is a great loss for our community, for our church," Childs said. "She wanted to go into pre-med, so who knows what we lost there. Horrible."
State police Col. Steven W. Flaherty issued a statement of sympathy last night. "I extend my most heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to [Donald Child's] loved ones, along with all members of his state police family," Flaherty said.
In a letter to the Tech community early yesterday evening, University President Charles W. Steger urged those who are suffering to seek the comfort of friends or counselors.
"Trauma like this is deeply painful to us all," Steger wrote. "Once again, this community is visited by senseless violence and tragedy upon aspiring young minds from our campus. "
In his remarks, Steger said: "We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and will assist in any way possible.
"No amount of words can counteract their grief, but know that the university administration and everyone within this community intensely feels this pain."
Investigators worked into last night trying to develop leads on a killer. And the greater Tech community grieved again, this time with the Metzler and Lee families, searching for answers.
"She was just, in my mind still, just the sweetest, nicest person," Sue Jones, who coached the home-schooled Childs in cross-country, told the News & Advance.
Investigator says Tech student slayings random act
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2...4801-ar-32642/The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department says today that the slaying of two Virginia Tech students in the Jefferson National Forest appears to be a random act of violence.
Lt. Norman Croy says investigators have spent the day fielding leads and running down information.
Croy says the killings appear to be a random act.
Law enforcement agencies increased patrols today in the area near Caldwell Fields in the Jefferson National Forest following the shooting deaths of Heidi Childs, 18, and David Metzler, 19, both from the Lynchburg area.
Their bodies were found by a passer-by around 8 a.m. yesterday in the parking area at Caldwell Fields - a campground popular with Tech students located about 15 miles from campus in northern Montgomery.
Earlier, the Roanoke Times reported that Montgomery investigators had identified and were trying to locate persons of interest who had been seen in the area. Sheriff Tommy Whitt, however, offered no details
Whitt said both victims appeared to have been shot, but he declined to identify where or how many times. Metzler's body was found inside a car; Childs' body was found outside the vehicle.
"It's brutal. It's ugly," Whitt said.
Sheriff to Childs-Metzler killer: "We will not rest until you are apprehended"
Sheriff confirms that they have killer's DNA.
March 29 2912
http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-mont...ory?hpt=ju_bn4Sheriff Tommy Whitt says that investigators have DNA evidence of the person who killed Heidi Childs and David Metzler.
Whitt made that announcement about the August 2009 killings during a brief conference Thursday in Montgomery County.
Whitt also said that investigators have determined that the murder weapon was a .30-30 caliber rifle.
Childs, 18, and Metzler, 19, were found shot to death in a parking lot of the Caldwell Fields area of the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County.
Speaking directly to the killer, Whitt said "We have DNA evidence now. We are aggressively and actively pursuing you. We will not rest until you are apprehended."
Whitt said that Childs' purse, cell phone, camera, ID card, credit card and Virginia Tech lanyard were also stolen.
The purse's contents have not been recovered.
Investigators believe that it's "highly likely" that someone saw the killer's vehicle on Craig Creek Road on the night of the killings, Aug. 26, 2009. Childs and Metzler arrived at Caldwell Fields at 8:25 p.m., and were killed between 8:25 p.m. and 10 p.m.
"We encourage the public to continue working with law enforcement to help us solve these brutal murders and bring just to David and Heidi's killer," Whitt said.
Investigators have identified several vehicles that were traveling on Craig Creek Road on the night of the murders. Whitt said they are still looking to identify more vehicles, and that owners of the vehicles are not necessarily suspects. Here is the list of vehicles investigators are seeking more information for:
1. Green Sedan (Possibly a Taurus or Intrepid) stopping in front of residences on Craig Creek Road around 6 p.m.
2. A dark Blue Dodge Caravan seen parked at the Montgomery County/Craig County line near a logging site around 8:30 p.m.
3. A dark colored, older model van or minivan parked at Caldwell Fields after dark.
4. A dark colored Ford Crown Victoria or Chevrolet Caprice seen driving Craig Creek Road around 10 p.m.
5. A red or red/white Dodge pick-up with dual exhaust and oversized tires, tinted windows, extended cab, driving up Lee Road approximately 11:00 p.m. that night. Lee Road is directly across the street from Caldwell Fields.
6. A gray or cream colored Pontiac Bonneville early 2000 model, parked near Caldwell Field around midnight.
Whitt also said that they have "been overwhelmed" by the number of people who visit the Caldwell Fields area that have volunteered DNA samples. The Task Force assigned to the case is now in the process of comparing residents' DNA to the killer's.
Whitt did not take any questions from reporters following the statement he made directly to the killer.
It's about the deaths of a teenage couple from Virginia Tech, Heidi Childs and David Metzler.