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Childs, Metzler murderer might alter behavior

CHRISTIANSBURG – In the two years since a Virginia Tech couple was found shot to death off campus, a task force has investigated over 1,300 leads. Still, the case remains unsolved.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt provided tips as to how the suspect in the Aug. 26, 2009 murder case of Heidi Childs and David Metzler may be behaving.
He also urged anyone who has provided “anonymous or disguised” information in the case to contact police again.
Whitt said a person responsible for such a crime sometimes, but not always, acts differently immediately following the crime or around anniversary dates of the killing.
This behavior could consist of increased anger or irritability, unusual or excessive interest in the crime, heavier consumption of alcohol or drugs, and possibly even leaving the area.
“The offender may not initially appear like someone who could commit such a terrible act,” said Whitt.
One particular area where the task force needs assistance is being able to obtain additional information from people who provided anonymous tips.
Whitt said information that has been provided by such a means has been followed up on, but some of the investigations remain incomplete because “we have no way of contacting the person” to ask follow-up questions.
While police understand concerns and fears an anonymous tipster may have, he said they can “rest assured (their) information and identity will be kept confidential.”
He continued, “We ask that you reach out to us in a way that allows us to communicate with you to enable investigators to follow the information to a conclusion; or at least contact us again with further details of the information you originally provided.”
He urged the tipsters to look inward and ask themselves, “What is the right thing for me to do?”
Those who have a suspicion about someone or may have seen something but are not certain if their suspicions or information is relevant to the case, also are urged to call.
“Investigators have many avenues available to them that will allow them to follow up on the information or names you may provide, thus eliminating or substantiating your information,” said Whitt,
“But we must first receive sufficient information from you to be able to explore those possibilities,” he stressed.
He continued, “Persons may deem their information useless or unimportant but to investigators there is no such thing as useless information. True, it may be information they already have, but it may also be the key piece of the puzzle that links all other pieces together.”
He thanked everyone who has helped with the case.
“We have said since day one that someone out there holds the key to this case. The more people who contact us with information, the sooner the families of the victims may realize justice,” he said.
A man walking a dog discovered the bodies of 19-year-old Metzler of Lynchburg and 18-year-old Childs of Forest at Caldwell Fields off Craig Creek Road just after 8 a.m. Aug. 27.
Metzler’s body was found inside his car and Childs’ body was lying outside the car. Both had been shot and were dead when police arrived on the scene.
The task force set up to investigate the murders includes officers from Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, the FBI, U.S. Marshall Service and U.S. Forest Service.
Whitt said the task force will continue to pursue leads in the case until the murder or murderers are arrested.
A $72,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects.
Anyone with information in the case or who was in the area of Caldwell Fields or the Jefferson National Forest Shooting Range on Craig Creek Road between 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 and 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27 should call 540-382-2951.

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