The murder of two Virginia Tech students in 2009 remains a mystery—a cold case that Montgomery County authorities continue to examine still to this date.
On August 26, 2009 the bodies of Heidi Childs and David Metzler were found in the parking lot of the Caldwell Fields camping area of the Jefferson National Forest outside of Blacksburg.
Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin said his agency has not forgotten the shooting and thinks about it on a regular basis.
Classes at the university had just started, and both students were in their sophomore year. Childs was an aspiring biochemistry student, and Metzler was studying industrial engineering. The two had been a couple since high school, and friends said the two had driven to the popular spot for college students.
Metzler’s 1992 Toyota was found sitting in a small parking spot of the activity area. Both had been shot and killed at Caldwell Fields, which is 13 miles outside of Blacksburg.
Edward F. Hertling Jr. is the Captain of Investigations for the sheriff’s department and heads up a task force that continues to examine the case.
“We are still actively investigating this case. Our core taskforce is made up of the Sheriff’s Office, State Police, FBI and US Marshals. We also get assistance from Blacksburg PD, Christiansburg PD, and Virginia Tech PD as needed. The taskforce meets regularly and leads are still regularly assigned and followed up on,” he said.
Metzler’s body was found inside the car, while Childs’ laid in the parking lot, which showed she might have tried to run from the shooter or shooters. Childs’ purse, cell phone, credit card, digital camera and Virginia Tech ID had been taken.
Over 2,000 tips have come into police including several in the past year, but still no person has been charged in the case.
Five years ago, then-Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt took an aggressive approach to the case, saying police have DNA from the killer but have not been able to connect it to anyone.
Over the years, there has been some discussion about a person of interest in the case, but for the most part, law enforcement has been mum on the case. Also, details into the shooting have not ever been released.
Hertling said since it’s an active case, he couldn’t comment on any potential suspects or persons of interest. Investigators are still hoping someone will provide information that could remove the label of “cold case” from its file.
A reward in excess of $65,000 is still in place for information leading to an arrest in the case. To report a tip, call the sheriff’s department at “Call via Hangouts” 382-6915.