MIDLOTHIAN — Rumors and misinformation recently circulated on social media about Midlothian Police having a potential suspect in the murder of Terry "Missy" Bevers. Those rumblings are unfounded, as police are still seeking the public's help with information that could lead to an arrest and conviction for the April 2016 murder.
Midlothian Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said a name that has been circulating online, Lyle Valentich, was considered a person of interest at one point. However, the tip, which was closed out "months ago," did not materialize and Valentich was never considered a suspect.
“In general, I can say with the dozens of specific person’s of interest that were called in that we ran them through a variety of filters, which included their potential connection to the victim or the church,” Johnson said. “Obviously, their alibi at the time of the offense, their height, weight, background and then with most of them there were face to face interviews. So none of that really lead to him become more than just a person we had a tip on.”
Johnson said the tip was provided to police in May or June.
Bevers was found dead April 18 in the Creekside Church of Christ where she was preparing to lead a 5 a.m. exercise class. Investigators canvassed the nearby businesses and neighborhoods for people who may have seen something or captured security video. None of those leads have panned out, Johnson said.
According to a May 20 Daily Light article, police have learned from the forensic reconstruction of the security tape provided by the church that the suspect is between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-7 and does appear to have a lighter skin color.
Johnson previously said that police continue to look for the driver of a light-colored sedan seen pulling into the SWFA Outdoors parking lot April 18 near the church at about 2 a.m. Rain obscured details of the car.
SWFA recently released a 7-minute-and-51-second video through its YouTube channel that shows a four-door Nissan sedan circling the parking lot. On two different occasions, the vehicle can be seen flashing its headlights before parking on the rear of the building for approximately four minutes.
“The video that the sporting goods store posted to their YouTube account on Dec. 5 is nothing new to us and its nothing that we have not seen before,” Johnson said. “It was just not released to the public because we didn’t feel like that particular video yielded the best chance of identifying the car.”
Johnson said police did release photos of the vehicle that showed a unique oval shaped sticker on its bumper. While image quality was poor, police thought that the sticker or emblem on car’s bumper might help identify it, Johnson said.
On May 20, 2016, Midlothian PD released the photos rear of the vehicle through its official Twitter account, which showed a unique oval shaped sticker. The Twitter post said it was a “vehicle of interest" and identified it as a 2010-2012 silver-colored Nissan Altima.
Johnson added that SWFA Outdoors turned over the video to police early on in the investigation.
Oak Farms Dairy and SWFA Outdoors have previously offered a reward of $10,000 each for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for Bevers death.
Individuals with information about the case can contact the Midlothian Police Department at 972-775-3333. The department is located at 1150 N. U.S. Highway 67 in Midlothian. Anyone with information can also contact the Ellis County Crime Stoppers organization at 972-937-PAYS.
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