Back-to-back funerals were held Monday for two slain Christian students from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
The owner of a Virgnia ice cream shop closed her doors, lit two candles, and asked customers to pray for the families of 18-year-old Heidi Childs and 19-year-old David Metzler.
The young couple was killed just days after leaving their summer jobs at the shop to return to Virginia Tech for fall semester.
"They were wonderful," the couple's summer employer Anne Reynolds said. "Everyone that worked here loved them."
Lt. Brian Wright of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, said the teens were "the cream of the crop in the community."
"(They were) just the top of the top in kids in their community that they grew up in, as well as the Virginia Tech Community," he said.
Childs and Metzler were active students on the Virginia Tech campus and active Christians. Both were members of Campus Crusade for Christ.
"David was a small group Bible study leader coming into the year," said one Virginia Tech Campus Crusade member. "And Heidi was real excited about being a part of our outreach team to be able to help, both of them to be able to help students come into 'Cru,' which we call Campus Crusade on campus. But also to help students know who Jesus was, to have opportunities to tell other students about their faith."
Kent Gregory,Youth Pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., said both teens where faithful in daily Bible study.
Gregory recalled Childs and Metzler playing guitar in church praise groups and traveling on a 2007 missions trip to New Mexico. Gregory said the teens also served in vacation Bible school at the church.
"They just loved the little kids," Gregory said. "They got down and played with them."
Students have been comforting each other since police found the two bodies with gun-shot wounds at a park 15 miles from campus.
"It's just a big family so you know, it hits deep with everybody," student Will Reynolds said.
"It's constantly happening here at Tech which is a big part of, like, us now and for this to be happening is just not really fair to the community," student Anna Romeider said.
Studen Morgan O'Neill called the situation stressful.
"(It) feels like Virginia Tech can never get a break," he said.
In 2007, senior English major Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 Virginia Tech students before killing himself. And in January of this year there was a decapitation in a campus cafe.
Now students face the deaths of Heidi Childs and David Metzler, a crime that has police searching for a cause and a clue to who is responsible.
*Originally published August 31, 2009