More than 11 long years have passed since Virginia Tech sophomores Heidi Childs and David Metzler were found shot to death at Jefferson National Forest.
One local AWARE Foundation representative, Kenny Jarels, told the Star-Tribune he and his colleagues are desperately trying to maintain a pulse in this case, which has not seen a single arrest since 2009.
A new billboard was erected today in an effort to keep the case from going cold.
"There are individuals with information about this case who reside here," Jarels said this morning. "They are still around in the area, in Pittsylvania County—we are all in close proximity, within an hour's drive to Virginia Tech no matter which way we go. You don't know where these people are at this particular point in time. It's been 11 years. They could actually be somewhere in this area."
Childs and Metzler were murdered Aug. 26, 2009, but in lieu of bringing advertising to the case on the 11th anniversary, Jarels said the AWARE Foundation elected for the holiday season to maximize effectiveness.
"We thought, instead of putting something up in August, we wanted to hit it through the holidays," Jarels said. "We hope someone will see that $100,000 reward. It sticks out, and we meant it to ben that way. It's eye-popping, and most importantly, we're hoping someone's heart will soften and come forward with the answers that the investigators need."
Jarels is based locally, but has worked on cases all over the county. However, he said this case is one he holds near and dear to his heart.
"This particular case is very dear to me," Jarels said. "I was a Virginia Tech student, worked there for 38 years, and it happened while I was still there. These families are really, really good families. The two kids were absolutely wonderful VT students. You just couldn't ask for two better kids."
"This particular case has really gnawed at me," Jarels added. "I want something positive to happen to thee families they deserve it."
The families are still holding out hope, even after 11 years.
“You always have hope,” Heidi’s father, Don Childs, said in a Fox News interview. “Somebody has information, and they will come forward with it, and that’s what we are trying to do with this billboard. It’s colored, it’s huge, it’s a big billboard. it shows Heidi and David faces close up, and they were just both in their youth and in the prime of their life.”
Jarels added, "We have been trying to help families not only by putting together events, but here in the last two to three years, everything we receive donation-wise we're trying to use to put up billboards, as many as possible, to bring new life to these cases. We know there are people still out there with valuable information that, for whatever reason, they haven't come forward and provided that to investigators."