HELENDALE - Christopher Cody Thompson and Bodhisattva "Bodhi" Sherzer-Potter were special kids.

They were stand-outs at school, with the talent and ambition to lead them to success. And they were all-around good kids who loved each other very much.

But news of their murders over the weekend at an abandoned military bunker has shocked their family, friends and teachers, who are mourning the loss of so much potential cut short.

"It's surreal. You think these things will never happen around you," said one of their teachers, Steven Orsinelli, of the Lewis Center. "When you know someone and they die such a horrible violent death ... My wife and I cried ourselves to sleep last night."

Cody, 18, of Apple Valley, and Bodhi, 16, of Helendale, had been dating for about a year, said Bodhi's mother, Leah Sherzer.

"They were very much in love," she said.

On Monday, those who knew the two victims sang their praises as ideal students, citizens and young people in our community.

Bodhi was a model 11th-grader at the Lewis Center while also taking a class at Victor Valley College, Sherzer said. She was musically gifted and planned to attend L.A. Film School and dreamed of becoming a film director.

"She had a way of putting life into words in a way that most of us couldn't," Sherzer said.

"They were both incredible film makers. The nicest kids you ever met," Orsinelli said. "These were not bad kids. They were just great to be around. Whoever did this ... they had to be the lowest form of being on the earth."

Sherzer said her daughter's bedroom has become a shrine of sorts, where her friends and family are coming to feel close to Bodhi.

"Her room is filled with friends, all who knew her are welcome to come," she said. "They sing, play songs, pray. It's theirs. She would want it that way."

Cody, also a gifted musician and film maker, was an avid outdoorsman too. He loved off-roading and recently bought a used jeep.

"I couldn't keep him out of the river bottom," said his mother, Pam Thompson. "And when people would hear him play music they were amazed. He could pick up any instrument and just start playing."

Cody graduated from the Lewis Center last year and recently began working with his father in the family business as a contractor.

His mother described him as a funny, quick-witted prankster who loved his pets and the outdoors.

"He was always a good boy. He was the easiest kid to raise. Just never a problem," Thompson said.

The couple were as committed to one another as they were to their future goals.

Cody would wake up for work at 4 a.m., work a full day and make it back up the hill in time to pick-up Bodhi from school and bring her home.

"He did this. He was a sweet, sweet kid. He was the frame who framed her," Sherzer said.

The two were well known in their community and school. Gordon Soholt, principal at the Lewis Center, said the school psychologist will be in all week to counsel the students and staff through this loss.

The bunker, a well-known spot
Parties and get-togethers were a regular occurrence
By RYAN ORR
Staff Writer

HELENDALE - The abandoned military installation where the bodies of two teenagers were found Saturday, is a well-known hang out among Helendale youth.

What is known to area teenagers as "The Bunker" is actually the remnants of the Hawes Auxiliary Field.

It started as a World War II training field in the 1940s and eventually became part of the military's emergency communication network, with the erection of a 1,226-foot-tall radio tower.

Although the land is still owned by the federal government, the tower was torn down in the mid 1980s.

Since then it has become a regular meeting spot for kids looking for something to do, said one Helendale man who has frequented the spot but wished to remain anonymous.

Helendale Community Services District board member Milo Stormo said he visited the bunker three years ago and it was littered with beer cans as if someone had been partying there.

"But that's the way every place in the desert looks," Stormo added.

Although widely known among Helendale's youth, the location remained a mystery to many parents until the bodies of Christopher Cody Thompson and Bodhisattva "Bodhi" Sherzer-Potter were discovered.

Riverview Middle School Principal Donna Cannon, who has lived in Helendale for 17 years, said she had never heard about the bunker but learned that her daughter had friends who had been there.

"I wouldn't call it a problem area," said the Helendale man. "It's just a place where kids go to hang out, until this happened."

He said that it is a two-story bunker that used to have a bunch of underground rooms and doors but many of them have been sealed off.

It still is a dangerous place, and includes a hole that drops down into a room with no exits, he said.

He added that there were frequent bonfires at the graffiti-covered bunker and it was a popular place on Halloween.