Virginia Police Offer $100k Reward In Unsolved 2009 Slaying Of Teen Couple
No arrests have ever been made in connection with the killings of David Metzler and Heidi Childs.
Ten years after a teen couple was found fatally shot in a Virginia forest, law enforcement has announced a $100,000 reward fund they hope will help crack the cold case.
On August 26, 2009, police said Virginia Tech students David Metzler, 19, and Heidi Childs, 18, drove to the Caldwell Fields area in Montgomery County. The couple was shot in the parking lot sometime between 8:25 p.m. and 10 p.m., according to Virginia State Police.
A dog walker found the bodies the next day, but Childs' purse, credit cards, phone, college ID and camera were missing, ABC News reports.
No arrests have ever been made in connection with the killings.
Now the community, Virginia Tech and the FBI have jointly pledged $28,000 in reward money, which increases the total reward in the case to $100,000.
The FBI's Richmond field office, announced the news on Friday.
"We have new leads still coming in that we are pursuing," Lt. Colonel Tim Lyon, director of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said in a statement.
"We have specific individuals we are interested in," Lyon said. "We have DNA and are working to take advantage of 10 years' worth of technological and scientific advancements in DNA testing and criminal databases, but we still need the public's help to fit all of these pieces and parts together."
The teens’ parents spoke out about the tragic killings that ripped apart their lives.
Don and Laura Childs said they gave their daughter the nickname "Smiley" because she had an ever-present smile on her face from the time she was a baby. "When she was just a newborn, people would see her in a shopping cart, and they would say, 'Smiley!'" Laura Childs told Roanoke's WDBJ-TV.
"It just became so funny," Childs said. "Everywhere we would go, people would call her ‘Smiley.’"
Heidi Childs, who had seven siblings, was an avid musician and an active member of Heritage Baptist Church. That is where, according to her family, she bonded with Metzler over their Christian faith and a shared love of playing the guitar.
A talented athlete, Metzler's family said he loved math and science and exhibited a talent for basketball, soccer, and outdoor sports.
The couple started as friends but began to date after they started college at Virginia Tech.
Laura Childs said she will never forget the last conversation she had with her daughter. On the night she was killed, Laura Childs said her daughter was telling her about her plans to study pre-med as a major.
"She was talking so fast that I could barely understand what she was saying," Laura Childs told the news channel. "I finally said, 'Honey, you need to slow down. I want to hear what you have to say.' She was so excited."
Later that night, Metzler and Heidi Childs went to Caldwell Fields, which is an isolated area located about 20 minutes from the Virginia Tech campus. The families believe the couple planned to talk about future goals and their relationship.
As the families continue to search for answers, they told WDBJ-TV they had found solace in their faith.
Virginia State Police have created a website where the public can leave tips and have asked anyone with information about the case to call (540) 375-9589.