Virginia State Police and the FBI last week announced a $100,000 reward for information related to the murders of 18-year-old Heidi Childs and her 19-year-old boyfriend, David Metzler, in the Caldwell Fields parking lot of the Jefferson National Forest in Montgomery County on Aug. 26, 2009.
While law enforcement hoped to take advantage of the recent advances in DNA testing and criminal databases to find the killer, they said that alone wouldn’t be enough.
“We have new leads still coming in that we are pursuing,” said Lt. Colonel Tim Lyon, Director of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. “But we still need the public’s help to fit all of these pieces and parts together to bring justice to Heidi, David and their families.”
Devout Christians, Childs and Metzler first met in high school through their church youth group, but didn’t begin dating until they attended Virginia Tech, according to a new website police created to garner interest in the case.
Childs and Metzler were in their sophomore years studying Bio-Chemistry and Industrial Systems Engineering, respectively. But Childs had a passion for medicine that sparked a desire to change her major to pre-med. Before Childs could speak with her adviser, she was murdered.
A decade ago, Metzler took Childs on a date in his navy blue 1992 Toyota Camry to the Jefferson National Forrest. Metzler brought along his guitar for the occasion. They planned to sit around a fire and take in the beautiful setting on that warm August evening, according to the case’s website.
The couple was shot to death between 8:25 p.m. and 10 p.m. that night in the parking lot, police said.
A man walking his dogs at Caldwell Fields discovered their bodies the next day, police said. Metzler's guitar was still inside the car, but Childs' purse, credit cards, VT ID and lanyard, camera, and cellphone were taken. Those items have yet to be recovered.
While investigators have said they have an interest in pursuing "specific individuals" related to the case, they have yet to name a suspect.
“It’s been 10 years,” Lyon said. “It’s time to come forward and let these families find some sense of peace. Heidi’s parents and siblings, David’s parents and siblings, their friends have all been held hostage long enough.”
Investigators have asked anyone with information on the case to call 540-375-9589. The public can also anonymously provide tips through the website.