New leads advance investigation into 2009 Montgomery County murders

Photo Credit: senorjackson/iStock Photo

Local, state and federal law enforcement have spent the past year pursuing roughly 50 new tips related to the tragic deaths of two Virginia Tech students on Aug. 26, 2009.

The new leads came in the wake of last year’s multi-agency press conference to announce a new website and $100,000 reward focusing on information related to Heidi Childs, 18, and David Metzler, 19, who were murdered in the Caldwell Fields parking lot of the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County.

Both teens’ families joined the Montgomery County Sheriff’s OfficeBlacksburg Police Department Christiansburg Police Department Virginia Tech Police 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 the 2019 press conference, which marked the 10-year anniversary of the murders.

Childs, of Bedford County, and Metzler, of Campbell County, met through their church youth group while in high school, but didn’t start dating until attending Virginia Tech. Both were just weeks into their sophomore year when the two headed to Caldwell Fields in Metzler’s navy 1992 Toyota Camry that Wednesday night in 2009.

Investigators have determined that it was sometime between 8:25 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Aug. 26, 2009 that both teenagers were shot and killed.

Metzler’s guitar, which he had brought along to play that night, was still in the car; but Childs’s purse, credit cards, student 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, Aug. 27, 2009, 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.”

Those interested in learning more about Metzler, Childs and the investigation are encouraged to go to the website established for this case at

The website features photos, a video tribute, and more information about this case. There is a section dedicated to receiving online tips from the public and tipsters can remain anonymous if they choose.

Tips can also be received by phone at 540-375-9589.

Thanks to 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 to $100,000.

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