Texas police are on the hunt for a man seen in a video wearing tactical clothing inside of the Creekside Church in Midlothian who is believed to be connected to a woman who was found dead there Monday morning.
Local authorities say the woman, 45-year-old Terri "Missy" Bevers, arrived at the church shortly after 4 a.m. to prepare for a boot camp class, called "Camp Gladiatior" that she teaches. Normally classes are held outdoors, but due to the storm that affected the area Monday morning, the class was forced to have the class inside.
Her students soon arrived to class about 5 a.m., but instead of finding Bevers, who is also a mother of three, ready for their morning classes, they found her unresponsive, prompting them to call 911. EMS workers arrived minutes later and noticed broken glass and other indications that a struggle had taken place.
Police arrives soon after, searched the building and determined there were visible signs of forced entry. No one else was found in the building but a review of a surveillance video recorded within the building showed that a man entered the building shortly before Bevers did.
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Police Chief Carl Smith said the man was wearing what looked like a tactical helmet, gloves and a heavy vest with "POLICE" written on it, noting that the man was essentially "designed to look like a police officer."
The cameras did not record any interaction between Bevers and the man and the circumstances of the incident have led to several theories for the motive behind it. On one hand, police say they believe its possible Bevers interrupted a burglary attempt, but are still leaving other scenarios "on the table."
"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," Smith said. "But all scenarios are on the table right now."
On the other hand, in the eyes of former police officer Pete Schulte, there is some evidence that the murder was planned. Noting that Bevers advertised the class date, time and location online, he stated there has been no indication that anything was ever stolen during the alleged burglary.
"This is not your routine burglary," he said. 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."
Regardless of motive, the community has taken Bevers' death quite hard, not just because her murder was the first in Midlothian in the past seven years, but also because she was truly a beloved member of the community. To emphasize this, several people gathered at the Midlothian Conference Center for a private candlelight vigil in Bever's memory.
"She was a loving mother of three. She loved her husband very much," said Chad Tucker, Bevers' brother in-law. "She was dedicated to taking care of herself, taking care of other people and being a good mother."
Oak Farms Dairy announced it is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect's arrest and indictment. Anyone with any leads is encouraged to call the Midlothian Police Department at 972-775-3333.