“At this point, with no firm suspect, everything is still on the table,” Midlothian Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said. “This is a frustrating investigation, a hard investigation.”
Midlothian Police Department investigators are no longer actively considering several individuals that were once considered people of interest early in Terri “Missy” Bevers murder investigation, Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said Friday.
Bevers, a fitness instructor with Camp Gladiator and a mother of three school-aged daughters, was killed April 18 in Creekside Church of Christ. Police are searching for a suspect seen on surveillance video walking around in the church before Bevers arrived.
“At this point, none of her family, friends or coworkers are suspects,” Johnson said.
Bevers' family, including her husband Brandon Bevers and father-in-law Randy Bevers, have provided detailed and verified alibis for the time of the murder, Johnson said, and are no longer actively considered suspects, though no one will be definitively ruled out until the case is solved.
A search warrant released on April 28 allowed police to pick up and test blood stains on a woman's white, long sleeve shirt, size XXL, from the Dry Clean Super Center of Midlothian. According to the warrant affidavit, a man who stated he was Randy Bevers, dropped the shirt off to the dry cleaners on April 22 with three other men’s shirts. Randy told the dry cleaner employee the woman's shirt had been stained with animal blood.
The shirt is currently at the lab and investigators are waiting for a report on the bloodstain, Johnson said.
No one named search warrants released on May 5 is still considered suspects either, he said.
The police had received search warrants for Missy's LinkedIn account as well as cell phone data from nine people. The search warrant affidavits stated evidence collected by police indicated an ongoing financial and marital struggle.
“I want to remind people Missy was a loving daughter, mother and wife,” Johnson said. “She has three daughters who will have to sift through all of this later.”
He encouraged people to remember that what is said online does affect the world, the people and the investigators involved.
“Unfortunately, people on social media will say things they never would face to face,” he said.
The Midlothian Police Department has about a dozen people working on Bevers' case each day, Johnson said, and does not plan to pull back from the investigation anytime soon.
“They will work as long as there is any possible work to be done,” Johnson said. “We have access to fantastic resources and skilled investigators.”
In the mean time, the department is still performing its duties to the city, he said, and is receiving assistance from other law enforcement agencies.
“We are still keeping up with our case load. We have extra staff in the early mornings making contact with businesses and other boot camps that meet in the morning,” he said.
Investigators on the case have worked through about 80 – 90 percent of the more than 1,000 tips that have come into the department, he said. Tips from the public continue to come in at a steady pace, Johnson added, regardless of the new rewards being offered.
Police also continue to track down leads from the crime scene, he said. Investigators canvased the nearby businesses and neighborhoods for people who may have seen something or captured security video, Johnson said. None of those leads have panned out, but police continue to look for the driver of a light-colored car seen pulling into the SWFA parking lot near the church at about 2 a.m. April 18. Details of the car were obscured by rain, he said.
“We don't have anything linking them to the crime. We would just like to talk to that driver of that car to tie up that lead,” Johnson said. “It is simply an unfinished lead.”
Police have also learned from the forensic reconstruction of the security tape from the church that the suspect is between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-7, Johnson said. No estimate is available about the victim’s possible weight or gender. The suspect does appear to have a lighter skin color, he said.
The department is still encouraging people to watch the videos of the suspect and see if the suspects unique walk combined with the height brings anything to mind, he said.
“Hopefully, someone may see that gate and it will trigger something in their memory,” he said. “The public is doing exactly what we want them to do.”
Police are still considering if the attack was random or if Missy may have been targeted, Johnson said. They are also open the idea there may have been another person or people the individual seen on the security footage was working with, Johnson said.
“At this point, with no firm suspect, everything is still on the table,” he said. “This is a frustrating investigation, a hard investigation.”
Police do not believe the video camera outside of the church, which was not working the morning Missy was killed, was tampered with, Johnson said. The church was aware the camera was only intermittently before Missy was killed, he said.
The Midlothian community should know the department is working hard to solve the case, he said.
“As I stand here a month later, that weight is still very pressing. We remain diligent in our attempts to find Missy's killer,” Johnson said. “This investigation involves cutting edge technology and old fashion gumshoe.”
Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.