A fitness trainer and mother of three was slain inside a Midlothian, Texas church on the morning of April 18. Investigators are looking for a suspect found on surveillance footage who was dressed as a police officer.
The woman, who was later identified as Terri “Missy” Bevers, 45, of Red Oak, was found on Monday at Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, 20 miles southwest of Dallas, by a student arriving for class, police said.
EMS workers arrived at the crime scene minutes later and found Bevers unresponsive. They also noticed broken glass and other evidence of forced entry into the church.
Local authorities said the woman teaches a boot camp class called “Camp Gladiator” which is usually held outdoors, but since there was a storm that affected the area Monday morning, the class was forced to have the class inside.
Police are suspecting that Bevers may have interrupted a burglary attempt—she came to the church shortly after 4 a.m. to prepare for the class.
“It’s just an odd, random situation that they would they would actually happen to come into a building that was being burglarized on a Monday morning,” Police Chief Carl Smith Smith said. “But all scenarios are on the table right now.”
However, authorities also think the incident may have been a targeted attack, since Bevers advertised the class date, time and location online.
Attorney and former police officer Pete Schulte said: “This is not your routine burglary. I don’t want to say anything’s routine but, if somebody’s going to try to go burglarize a business, they’re going to get in and get out and try to grab as much stuff as they can and then leave.”
The surveillance video shows the man inside the church almost 30 minutes before the victim arrived. He wore a jacket labeled “Police,” gloves and helmet.
In the footage, the suspect is never seen taking anything from the church.
“We want to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim,” Chief Smith said, adding that the murder investigation marks his department’s first one they’ve seen in the past seven years. “This is a tragic event for all involved, including our community.”
The victim’s brother in-law Chad Tucker said Bevers “was dedicated to taking care of herself, taking care of other people and being a good mother.”
Oak Farms Dairy is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect’s arrest and indictment.
Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the Midlothian Police Department at 972-775-3333 or Ellis County Crime Stoppers at 972-937-7297.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.