Five years later, Missy Bevers murder remains a mystery

Case still unsolved 5 years later as multiple agencies pursue clues

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
The murder of Terri "Missy" Bevers in April 2016 remains unsolved. The Midlothian Police Department says it continues to pursue leads and refuses to call it a "cold case."

Five years later, it remains a murder that mystifies the Midlothian Police Department, the Texas Rangers and the FBI. And family members are still asking for closure.

In the early morning hours of April 18, 2016, fitness instructor Terri “Missy” Bevers, 45, was opening up the hall of Midlothian’s Creekside Church of Christ to host a Camp Gladiator exercise session when the mother of three was brutally murdered by an assailant who has yet to be identified.

The murderer was at first identified as a man by authorities, but later they changed that to say it was undetermined whether it was a man or a woman. Surveillance video inside the church showed a person, later estimated to be about 5-foot-8 in height, wearing full police gear and wielding a hammer that was later identified as the murder weapon.

Bevers’ husband, Brandon, was out of town on a fishing trip that day and was cleared of the crime. No family members have come under suspicion.

Before the murder, the suspect is seen on video footage walking inside the church wearing police tactical gear and using a screwdriver or pry bar to open doors inside the church. Police found broken glass on the floor and discovered other signs of forced entry during the investigation of the crime scene.

The individual was wearing what appeared to be a helmet, a heavy vest with the word “Police” on the front and back, pants, gloves, and shin guards. The surveillance videos were motion-triggered and captured neither the assault nor all of the movements inside the building. The external cameras were not functioning at the time.

“The Midlothian Police Department considers this case an active investigation and continues to explore all leads that we receive,” the police department said in a statement on social media. “Midlothian Police Investigators are determined to see this case reach closure. Our agency receives tips and leads almost daily from various sources. Our investigators follow up on every credible piece of information. Please know that we will continue to thoughtfully protect the release of information about Missy’s murder as long as this case remains open.”

MPD said it has added a retired federal agent to its team of investigators and his primary responsibility is the examination of this case. Additionally, the department’s new Criminal Investigation Division Commander is an experienced homicide detective from a major Metroplex agency. He also will review the information gathered in this case.

“The expertise of these seasoned investigators, combined with the advancements in technology and new investigative techniques developed in law enforcement over the past five years, will hopefully lead to a satisfactory conclusion of this case,” the department stated.

“It is our sincere belief that collaboration with the public is what will eventually lead us to solve this crime. We believe that someone may have a vital piece of information that to this date is unknowingly being withheld. We appeal to the community to please contact the Midlothian Police Department, regardless of how insignificant they may think their information may be.”

In its update, the MPD presented some points it would like to reiterate:

• The department does not consider this a “cold” case. Investigators are actively working new leads and existing case files. This includes coordination with multiple law enforcement agencies and forensics experts.

• To date, investigators have received over 3,000 tips and are still receiving tips from all over the world.

• Over the past year, investigators have traveled across Texas and other states to follow up on new leads.

• MPD staff has presented this case to several homicide investigators’ associations for review; no new substantial investigative work was generated due to these presentations.

• Investigators are still interested in a vehicle captured on video in the parking lot of a nearby business in the hours before the murder was committed. The vehicle appears consistent with a 2010-2012 Nissan Altima, 2010-2012 Infinity G37 or similar vehicle. The vehicle of interest is driving slowly around the closed business; the driver turns the lights off and on multiple times and then parks for a short time before exiting the parking lot.

• The suspect observed on church surveillance equipment is wearing “police tactical” type clothing. The authenticity of the clothing is not known. Height analysis estimates the vertical distance from the floor to the top of the headwear of the suspect to be approximately 5'8".

• In the video surveillance, the suspect appears to have a unique walk or gait. The suspect's feet appear to turn outward away from the body, more predominantly on the right foot. Investigators are interested in persons who fall within or near this height range, and have a similar walk or gait or may have had a similar walk or gait during the time of this offense. It is possible the suspect's gait was caused by a temporary condition, injury or other factor and the suspect will no longer exhibit this walk or gait.

The Midlothian Police Department said there are several ways people can make an anonymous tip in this case. If the information provided leads to an arrest and conviction, persons that submit tips may be eligible for a cash reward. Tips can be delivered:

• By calling Crime Stoppers of Ellis County at 972-937- 7297.

• By calling the Midlothian Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 972-775-7634.

• By private message via Facebook to Midlothian Police Department – Texas (@MidlothianTXPD ).