By Calvin Palmer
The murder of two Virginia Tech students in a parking area in the Jefferson National Forest was yesterday described by authorities as “a random act”.
The bodies of David Lee Metzler, 19, of Lynchburg and Heidi Lynn Childs, 18, of Forest, were found on Thursday morning by a man walking his dog on Thursday morning in the parking lot of the Addison Field day-use area and campground that is a popular hangout for students.
Lt Norman Croy of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department said the killings appear to be a random act.
Both students appear to have been shot either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
Metzler’s body was found in his 1992 dark blue Toyota Camry, and Childs was found outside the car.
Sheriff Tommy Whitt declined to give details as to how many times the victims had been shot.
“It’s brutal. It’s ugly,” Whitt said.
Neighbors in nearby Caldwell Fields Have been questioned about a 1990s sedan seen in the area.
Jeff Caldwell, said he had seen the car go back and forth along the snaking, rural road for the past two months or so.
“I don’t notice a car until I’ve seen it four or five times,” he said.
Vera Caldwell, his wife, said police described the car as gray or grayish-silver.
“But the officer I spoke to said he didn’t care if it was pink, he wanted to know about it,” she said.
Metzler and Childs had known each other for years and were active in their church and campus ministries, said Gerald Kroll, their pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Lynchburg.
Metzler, a sophomore industrial and systems engineering major, and Childs, a sophomore biochemistry major, belonged to Virginia Tech’s chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ.
“They were both godly young people, the cream of the crop,” Kroll said.
Kroll said he had not spoken to either about what their plans were after college but “they had a desire to be godly and to serve their lord.”
Anne Reynolds is the manager at Mountain Frost Creamery in Lynchburg, where both victims worked. She described them as “terrific, very active, very involved in their church, very energetic and outgoing.”
Last night, 80 friends and family members gathered at Lynchburg’s Heritage Baptist Church in the same room where the two had played the guitar and sung many times.