New Leads Brings New Life To Cold Case: The Murder of Virginia Tech Students Heidi Childs and David Metzler


On August 26, 2009,  High School sweethearts turned co-ed romantics and  Virginia Tech freshmen Heidi Childs and David Metzler were brutally murdered in Montgomery County Virginia between the hours of 8:25 and 10 PM at Caldwell Fields  in Jefferson National Forest.

Heidi Childs is the daughter of retired Virginia State Police veteran helicopter pilot Don Childs.

Investigators have not revealed how they have determined this window of time,  but sources inside the investigation have confirmed to that it is based on cell phone records which have not been released.

David was shot through the driver side window and Heidi was gunned down as she immediately fled the vehicle.  For the most part, that is about as much information released to date.

Further information regarding the assault to Ms. Childs is being withheld for investigative purposes.

Until today, investigators from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office have been tight-lipped as to any evidence collected from the scene, or any possible motive.  Sheriff Tommy Whitt was all business this afternoon, and took no question from the media.

Sheriff Whitt addressed the media with an update and newly released information he hopes will have the  tip lines ringing off the hook.  The complete information can be read here.

Courtesy of



The Gun That Won The West- And Killed Innocent Kids

Sheriff Whitt also revealed that the weapon used to murder Heidi Childs and David Metzler was a .30/30 RIFLE.

Being somewhat of a firearm enthusiast,  when I first read the handout, I missed the “rifle” designation.  My mind was spinning about the fact that their is a 30/30 Winchester pistol that is 30 caliber and all sort of ammo possibilities are in play-

However, establishing that the weapon used to kill both victims was a 30/30 rifle sends it’s own set of messages.

In general, a 30/30 is a lever action rifle which is the most common deer cartridge in the US for hunters.

It is not a sniper- type weapon,  with an under 200 yard range  and equipped with a magazine or not, it is unlikely a target someone is not going to notice one carrying it and aiming it directly.

Alternative ammo and casings were not included in the press conference.



There is upwards of  a $70,000 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of  a person or persons responsible for the crime.

Check back to for updates







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  1. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Dr. Pepper

    I have spent several hours using Google Earth to get familiar with the area where Heidi and David were killed.

    The real name of the area is “Caldwell Fields” not campground as shown on the highway maps. It is located on highway 621 about 8 1/2 miles North of hwy. 450 and near the large power line (750KVA) right-of-way that crosses the area. It is also near the county line to the North.

    The area I think that applies is a small (112 feet by 110 feet) area that is used for parking and turn around. It is located across 621 from the road that goes to the cemetary. This area also includes a restroom facility located on the South fence line. If you locate the area and bring your eye view down to about 1800 ft., you can see the signage for the area.

    All the fields are mown areas along 621 with all but one located on the East side.

  2. Tobias Gregson says:

    I read the message to the killer again and a couple of things struck me that may have no significance at all, but I thought worth mentioning.

    Is the misspelling of “aggressively” intentional? If so, what would the reason be? Also, why a comma in the second sentence instead of a period to separate what is really two sentences. I don’t mean to seem like a spelling/grammar freak but if I’m sending a very important message, especially one that short, I’m proofreading it vigorously. Could there be something there or am I reading way too much into it?

  3. redly says:

    I am sure it is just because someone in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s department is stupid. Not intentional.

  4. A Texas Grandfather says:


    I am laughing at your reply to Tobias. Sheriff’s deputies are notorious for being less than literate in the use of written language. That is why the large agencies often have a communications person hired to interface with the public.

    Dr. Pepper

    I am still working on the area where the murders took place. There are several areas of concealment near the parking lot. It is impossible to see the ground at the cemetary. The Google photos were taken when folage was too thick to allow it. This is probably an old one or two family cemetary with little or no maintenance. It would certainly be possible to use the cemetary as a marijuana garden. The cemetary is located on the West side of 621. I see I have a fat finger mistake about Hwy. 460. I previously posted it to be 450.

    The gravel cemetary road climbs up the mountain to the West, then turns and goes North crossing the 750 KVA powerline right-of-way and continues North across the county line into the next county.

  5. Dr. Pepper says:

    Thank you so much for the hours you have spent looking into these areas. This is definitely NOT my strong suit- at all.

    From what you have seen, do you think any additional research on that geographic area would help us out?

    I originally thought there may be something “connected” to other murders- if they are in the vicinity of the area where these two were killed.

    I have done some reading up on my own this weekend, to become more familiar with the Colonial Parkway murders.

    I am paraphrasing here (pls correct any mistakes I make below)
    From wiki:
    The first two known victims were Cathleen Thomas, 27, and Rebecca Ann Dowski, 21. The lesbian couple liked to park on the Colonial Parkway for privacy. On October 12, 1986, their bodies were found inside Thomas’ Honda Civic, which ad been pushed down an embankment near an area of the parkway that was popular with gay couples. An autopsy found rope burns on their necks and wrists, signs of strangulation, and their throats had been slashed. Their purses and money were found inside the car. It appears that Thomas may have struggled with her attacker. A clump of the suspect’s hair was later captured by her fingers. Both women were fully clothed and there was no evidence of sexual assault. NOTE- BOTH WERE ATHLETE, YET THERE WAS LITTLE SIGN OF STRUGGLE

    September 1987, David Knobling, 20, and Robin Edwards, 14, were found murdered in the Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge, on the south shore of the James River in Isle of Wight County, near Smithfield, Virginia. Knobling’s truck was found at the refuge several days before the bodies were discovered by his father.

    April 9, 1988, Cassandra Lee Hailey and Richard Keith Call were reported missing after attending a party in the University Square area in Newport News during their first date together. Call’s vehicle was found, unoccupied, on the Colonial Parkway the next day. Neither body has been found, but both are presumed dead.

    October 1989, the bodies of Anna Marie Phelps, 18, and Daniel Lauer, 21, were found in New Kent County by hunters in the woods near a rest area on Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and Richmond.
    They had been missing since the previous month. The hunters discovered the bodies on a logging road about a quarter-of-a-mile from Courthouse Road, a location about a mile from the I-64, New Kent rest stop.

    Yes, I understand how long ago these crimes occurred. However, how often do couples get brutally murdered in their cars that are found in the forests along the same highway in one state?

    There was also a lesbian couple murdered in the Shenadoah Nat Forrest (adjacent to other forest) – the forest where thE forest rangers who worked in the area of the first Lesbian murders occured…where transferred.
    *All glove boxes were open
    *yet different methods of killing

    I must go to bed. But I had to get that off my chest.

    J4 ALL!!!!!!!!

  6. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Dr Pepper

    We have someone who travels the parkway on a regular basis that is the perp. He picks on couples who drive into an isolated area and then does the deed.

    He is apparently comfortable in the forest areas.

    There are many people who live off the land and whatever little work they can find depending on their skills.

    My father worked briefly for an insurance company in the depression. His area was the New Boston mountains in Arkansas. I would sometimes ride with him to make collections. Some of the places were so primitive one was hard pressed to understand how they survived.

    As Blink pointed out in her piece. The weapon used was a .30-30 rifle. It would be interesting to know if the weapon in the other cases is the same. The .30-30 rifle has a long life. It has been in existance in many designs for 150 years. At one time in the last decade of the 19th and the time up to WWI, the rifle was designed to fire a short shell with less powder so it could be used as a varmint rifle and with a change piece could fire the regular round for deer and larger game.

    I know a bit about the difference in firing “shorts”. I can tell you that the reduction in noise alone, is important.


  7. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Been away from this thread for a bit. Still working on the other locations for Dr. Pepper.

    Your first couple were apparently strangled. There are two possibilities for this one. First there could have been more than a single perp. The second is more common and that is some people are so afraid of guns that when someone points a gun at them they freeze and will do whatever the perp asks them to do. Then there is the third and that is a single perp put a gun to the head of one of the victims and told the other one they would kill her if she didn’t follow instructions.

    I agree Blink about the shorts. The proper way to teach a child or an adult about shooting is to start them on 22 cal. shorts in either a single shot rifle or revolver. This produces a small sound and will not generally affect your ears. Later one can graduate to regular, longs and long rife shells. Each one increasing the loudness a bit. Then one can move to a .380 or an H&R with S&M 32 long shells. The 32 longs are almost the same size as a 38 round and make a big sound.

    This also brings us back to the cases in this group. A 22 cal. short fired into the base of the skull is usually fatal as is one that is fired into the heart. The 22 cal. pistol is a favorite weapon of an assasin because of its low noise. Often less than a firecracker.

    I agree with everything you said, and that has been the path in our house with our children, teaching gun safety.

    I felt the need to interject that a .22 revolver, single shot or semi, is NOT a solid weapon of choice for defense purposes unless the owner is a crack shot, and by that, I mean, trained in a confrontation situation even in the dark. It will not stop most, and if they are armed, it could be you just wacking the hornets nest and getting yourself killed. My most recent shoot after much practice, I can shoot a happy or sad face in a blank target from 20 ft, and with that firearm, I outshoot Mr. Blink, lol.

    Don’t let what sounds like my bragging fool you. I am not. I am demonstrating that as ATG points out, it was commonly used as an execution weapon because of the sound, the lack of exit wounds and mess when a kill shot is used on an incapacitated individual. Stopping an intruder lawfully is another matter.

    I don’t want to rage the gun owner vs. nons in this thread, but I absolutely want to underscore that if a person is going to be an owner, for protection purposes, I implore you to educate yourself about firearms, their proper use, storage and care, and additionally as important- be trained and then practice religiously with your weapon at a licensed range.

    I have just started working with a .38 snub Ruger LCR, and I can tell sound and recoil are things that factor in a persons effectiveness with a handgun. If one is going to make the decision, it requires the same level of vigilence I promote with personal safety.


  8. A Texas Grandfather says:

    I am not suprised that Blink can out shoot Mr. B. Many women have better ability to point something more accurately than men.

    Depending on how early one begins to teach shooting with a child, it is sometimes better to begin at the BB gun stage. I have a Red Rider lever action BB gun that is equiped with a movable rear sight. This is effective sometimes for girls and younger boys.


    I am not sure that I know which gun the happy faces are punched into the target. Is it the .22 or the .38 Ruger. Both of my girls can write their names in a target with a 9mm. The oldest can do that both left and right handed. Each has shot thousands of rounds of practice and that is the key, practice.

    Damn, I am gonna have to work harder, lol.

  9. A Texas Grandfather says:

    You have to remember Blink that my girls are almost old enough to be your mom. They have been shooting longer than you have lived.

    However, if you can make a smiley face, you can shoot well enough to write Blink in a target. The smiley face is the basis for the loops in the B and the rest are just straight line letters. Just think of them in capital letters. Why don’t you plan a suprise for Mr.B.

    Just lay out Blink on a piece of paper. Then, mark where you want to place a shot with a pencil and memorize each location. Practice one letter at a time until you get it like you want. Use the .22 for practice, then try the .38. Work smart, not hard.

    I like the Ruger for concealed carry. It is small enough to fit in a pocket or a purse and packs a good knockdown punch in either the .38 or the .357 magnum. We will see how well the composite/aluminum frame ages. My H & R is all steel and is about the same size. It is older
    than you. At one time the H & R chambered for the.32 S&W long round was the preferred backup weapon of LE.

    By the way, there is a grip controled laser system for the Ruger.

  10. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Dr. Pepper

    Still looking at the terrain along the colonial parkway. This is not a long highway, but it does traverse a lot of timber land. The traffic is not heavy during the time of the Google photos. Spent about two hours tracking the route at a low eye elevation on Google.

    I will spend some time looking at the actual sites where the murders took place. I suppose that you know that only two of the four cases that are referred as “the Colonial Parkway murders” took place on the parkway itself. The other two are miles away. I have looked at the one in the island wildlife refuge.

    My take at this time is that the perps and there may be more than one, used a fake badge and uniform to get close to the victims. If that didn’t happen then we have an actual LEO or former LEO involved.

  11. Jeff D says:

    Anyone catch this Virginia..

    OT…man it’s hot

    I so want to know every detail of this. Could be nothing, is definitely not related to Morgan, but from a knowledge base perspective, I see things in this crime that are indicators for other.

    Who impersonates a cop and pulls over a dude? I so wish I knew the deets.


  12. Jeff D says:

    ‘not related to Morgan,’…B


    Not really very far from this forest area.(Heidi and David case)
    ..relatively speaking>>>>and similar MO is considered here…

    Well I was trying to be subtle, lol. At face value, dudes impersonating cops do not pull over dudes without an agenda. What time of the day was it? Is it possible the officer was driving his gf or wife’s car, etc. Was he with his wife/gf? In this area, I would be distilling this incident like mad.

    More here, imo.


  13. Jeff D says:

    ah…missed gender reference…but on same page…reckon there are folks in the right places who consider these things?

  14. Toby says:

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems
    with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

    on yours Toby


  15. Jeff D says:

    still nothing here?….maddening

    Since I forwarded a possible lead to LE some time ago, I will share the thought I had.

    Israel Keyes.

    I know it did not appear on his travel schedule, but if I were investigators in this case I would want to rule him out. He admitted to a very similar crime he aborted because 2 LE officials showed up but the firearm he stated he prepared to use matches one found in an East Coast NY cache. To my knowledge only one of two found to date.


  16. Jeff D says:

    Certainly a traveler…thx for link!

  17. GeoJeff says:

    With various types of evidence, including DNA, it is REALLY frustrating that this case is still unsolved.

  18. GeoJeff says:

    I know Blink, that you are busy on the McStay case, but when you have time, I am curious if you believe IK is still in the mix os suspects?

    It seems like enough time has passed to rule him in or out through DNA?

    Thanks for everything that you do.

    I passed that intel on to the lead agency some time ago, I cannot say if they were able to rule that out or not, but the FBI is aware.

  19. lil ms t says:

    following the Morgan Harrington case and Hannah Graham case, I stumbled upon this case and hadn’t heard about it before, the parking lot where this took place is close to a nearby campground, and a 30/30 rifle is a extremely noticeable weapon for any one person to try and carry or conceal, with this being said, I would have hoped the LE investigating this case would have summoned every camp ground check in and check out receipt, even if it’s a drop box style CG for individuals that may have been in the area during this time. Possibly a hunter, this is a popular style hunting rifle, and theft although items were taken, does not appear to be the motive, if the male was out of the car it makes me curious to some sort of argument with the suspect, protecting his GF, this type of rifle is not extremely loud, but on a summer night, I believe a weekend? the campground was probably packed with people, a 30/30 has a loud snap, and it was still fairly early in the night, you would think somebody would hear that depending on the timing of shots? this looks to me like a thrill killing, or an abduction gone wrong, less like a robbery, it’s rare for somebody to rob with a 30/30

    was a parking lot. David was shot through the window, Heidi on the ground attempting to escape. This will solve when VSP finally takes the position they have avoided overall. Use the media and the public to progress leads.

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