"Are you getting a bit nervous, shaking in your 'boots that look too big?'. You should be! It's just a matter of time now."
-Missy's mother-in-law posted a message to the killer on Facebook
It was the 18th of April 2016. A Monday. Forty five year old Terri Missy Bevers was up early that morning. But that wasn't unusual for her. Missy had once worked as a teaching assistant but when she had her children, she changed career so that she could spend more time with them. Missy worked as a fitness instructor and early morning starts and even cold weather and the rain weren't enough to put her off. That morning was no different.
Missy arrived at the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian, Texas, United States at 4.18am that morning. She was due to lead a boot camp at 5am. Missy used social media, especially Facebook, to promote her classes. The night before the class, she posted on Facebook that the boot camp would be going ahead regardless of whether it was raining or not. Surveillance footage inside the Church showed her arriving as planned at 4.18am. She was always early so that she had time to set up before the class began.
That morning, Missy was leading a Camp Gladiator exercise session. At 5am, when the class should have started, a 911 call was made from the Church instead. Missy had been attacked. A member of her class found her in an unresponsive state inside the Church. Missy was found lying on the floor on her back in the main foyer of the Church. She was in her workout clothes. There were large pools of blood around her body and broken glass scattered on the floor.
When police and paramedics arrived, Missy was pronounced dead. She had been bludgeoned to death. There were puncture wounds to her head and chest. Her body showed signs of a struggle.
Missy's car was parked outside the Church. It was unlocked. There was gym equipment in the back of the car and there was more gym equipment at the entrance to the Church. Her keys, wallet, iPhone and handbag were inside the car.
Missy's death was a crime that shocked Midlothian. There had been no murders in the city for seven years. Who attacked Missy in such a brutal way?
Missy was married to a man called Brandon Bevers. They were together for almost twenty years and had three daughters. They appeared to be a happy family. And when police spoke to Brandon, he confirmed that he had no idea who would want to harm his wife.
Brandon and Missy Bevers
Police checked the surveillance footage from the Church. The footage directly outside the Church was not working but the surveillance footage inside was. Police viewed the footage and saw that when Missy entered the Church that morning, at 4.18am, she was not the only person there. The footage showed a person was already inside the Church and arrived before Missy got there and police believed that that person was the person who killed Missy. That person entered the Church at 3.50am. Police believed the person who entered the Church before Missy, entered via the back entrance and Missy entered via the front door so it was unlikely she would have been aware somebody was inside the Church already.
The person seen on the footage was dressed in “police tactical type clothing” making it difficult to identify them. The clothing included a helmet, a heavy vest with the word POLICE on the front and back, pants, gloves and shin guards. The person was wielding a hammer which the police believed was the murder weapon as the type of injuries that could be inflicted by a hammer were consistent with the injuries Missy received according to police.
The person in the footage appeared to also have a pry bar and at one point, they were holding a white rectangular box.
There was evidence of forced entry and police believed the person on the footage used the pry bar and hammer to gain access into the Church and once inside, broke glass from several windows in different areas throughout the Church. Police initially believed they were looking for a man and they looked into the possibility that Missy was killed due to a robbery that went wrong. But nothing was missing from the Church and Missy was still wearing her wedding ring. The footage also showed that the person did not appear to be in a rush and walked casually throughout the building.
The person seen on the video is thought to be around 5’8” and at the time had a distinctive walk. The police referred to the walk as a feminine walk and a walk that may indicate an injury to the right leg or foot. The police said:
“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. It is possible the gait was caused by a temporary condition, injury or other factor and the suspect may no longer exhibit this walk or gait.”
When the footage was released, police received several tips on the possible identity of the suspect pictured in tactical gear in the surveillance footage, some of them specific as to the person's build and walk.
Police, after looking at the footage in full a number of times, later told the public that they did not know the gender of the person on the footage. Unfortunately, even though the footage police obtained included some vital information, the cameras were motion triggered and did not capture the murder. Due to the fact that the cameras outside were not working, police could not establish if the person on the footage had some form of transport waiting outside or which direction they went in.
Police had to establish who the person was on the footage.
Police looked into Missy's personal life and discovered that while the Bever family appeared to be a happy family, they were far from it. They uncovered that they were having financial problems and extramarital affairs.
Police spoke to Missy's husband Brandon. Brandon told police that he wasn't the person seen on the footage and informed them that he had an alibi. Brandon said that he was out of town on a fishing trip that day. He was on an annual fishing trip in Mississippi and gave police his plane tickets and a car rental receipt in an effort to prove same.
Just four days after Missy's murder, police received a tip in the case. Employees from a dry cleaners, Dry Clean Super Center of Midlothian, called police to notify them that a man had dropped in a shirt that had blood on it to be cleaned. They believed that the man tried to clean the shirt before he dropped it off at the dry cleaners. That man was Randy Bevers, Brandon's father and Missy's father in law. The shirt was a woman's white long-sleeved shirt.
The Dry Cleaning Receipt
Randy told the police that the blood on the shirt was from his dog and was the result of a fight his dog had with another dog. Randy told CBS DFW that his dog, Kilo, was killed in a fight with another dog at a relative's house. He said that there were two shirts that had blood on it. One of the shirts was his and the other belonged to his wife. According to Randy, the shirts were covered in blood as they carried Kilo to the Animal Emergency Hospital of Mansfield.
Police sought corroboration and the veterinarian confirmed Randy's version of events. Furthermore, when police tested the blood on one of the shirts, they established that it was animal blood. When asked about the second shirt and the location of it, Randy told CBS DFW that it was still at the dry cleaners.
A friend of Missy told police that three days before Missy's murder, Missy received a private LinkedIn message. Missy showed her the message and the friend told police that it was from "a male unknown to them both, and they both agreed that the message was creepy and strange."
Police obtained a warrant to gain access to all of Missy's communication on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking service for professionals. Missy used the site frequently. Police contacted a "person of interest" who used LinkedIn and had been in touch with Missy. That person admitted communicating with Missy. The communication began in January 2016 and continued until she died. The messages began in a casual manner but "ultimately turned flirtatious and familiar."
Randy Bever with his wife and dog
Police obtained cell information from Missy's phone and cell information from several members of the Bevers family. Several of the phone messages confirmed that there was financial trouble, struggles within the marriage and extramarital affairs.
Nine months after Missy's murder, police released surveillance footage from outside SWFA gun store, a store close to the Church where Missy was beaten to death. The footage was from a couple of hours before Missy was murdered and showed a Nissan Altima or a car of a similar description slowly circling the carpark. At one point, the driver turned off the lights and turned them back on. It’s described as a 2010-2012 Nissan Altima, Infinity G37 or a similar vehicle. The driver parks for a short time, then exits the car park. Police want to speak to the driver to cross them off the list. They do not believe that the driver of the car is the person who killed Missy but it is unclear why they believe that to be the case.
Following a tip and based on the belief that he drove a similar car, police spoke to former Lancaster police officer Bobby Wayne Henry. Bobby is a licensed security guard and worked at Missy's funeral. He was suspended from the police force in 1996 due to an aggravated sexual assault allegation. He was later arrested on unrelated charges to both the sexual assault case and Missy's case and was released without charge. He was ruled out as a possible suspect in relation to Missy's case.
Nobody has come forward to the police to state that they were the driver of the car on the footage to date.
There are still a lot of details that are unknown in Missy's case and that have not been released by the police about the people she communicated with on LinkedIn, members of her fitness class, the partners of the men she communicated with and whether everyone's alibi has been corroborated. The reason for this is that police are dealing with Missy's case as an active and ongoing case which may indicate that they may have an idea who is responsible and need to gather all the evidence to build a solid case before making an arrest.
Another unclear aspect in relation to Missy's death is in relation to the exact cause of death. No Autopsy report has been released even though police have said that she was bludgeoned to death and they believe a hammer was the murder weapon. It was reported that there was a gun found close to Missy's body and that police were looking into any suspicious ammunition/gun purchases but little details in relation to this have been released so far.
There are a number of different theories as to what happened to Missy:
1. Was she in the wrong place at the wrong time? If the person seen on the footage entered the Church on foot of a robbery attempt, why kill Missy?
2. Was the person on the footage known to Missy? Is that why they are in a disguise?
3. Was it a targeted attack? If there were extramarital affairs taking places, chances are that a person she was involved with may have been married/in a relationship. Was their partner looking for revenge? They would have known where she would be that morning from her Facebook post about the change of venue for the fitness class.
4. Was Missy being stalked? Her friend told police that she received a "creepy" message on LinkedIn. There was no indication that Missy was afraid. Her licensed gun was left inside her car in the car park at the Church the morning she was killed. She did not bring it inside with her.
To date, police have not arrested or charged anyone in relation to Missy's murder. They still cannot say with certainty if they are looking for a woman or a man.
A $10,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect's arrest and indictment is being offered by Oak Farms Dairy.
Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers of Ellis County at 972-937-PAYS (7297) or the Midlothian Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 972-775-7634.
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