(MIDLOTHIAN, Texas) — Police are on a manhunt Tuesday for the suspected killer of a beloved 45-year-old fitness instructor and mother of three who was recently discovered dead inside a church in Midlothian, Texas.
Students discovered the body of Terri Bevers, known as “Missy” by family and friends, early Monday morning when she was scheduled to teach a fitness boot camp class at Creekside Church of Christ, according to Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith.
Responding officers observed a lot of broken glass on the floor around Bevers and found evidence of forced entry into the building, Smith said in a news conference Monday afternoon. The entire building was searched and nobody was found, he added.
But after reviewing surveillance footage from inside the church, police found a person roaming the halls shortly before Bevers entered, Smith said. The person was seen on video wearing full tactical gear, including a heavy helmet, gloves and a jacket with the word “POLICE” on the front and back.
The person on the tape is suspected of killing Bevers, according to police, who are now asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the suspect.
“This is an unusual occurrence for our community and our first priority is the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Smith said, adding that this case was the first homicide for the department in nearly a decade.
Police declined to describe the “injuries” found on Bevers’ body on Monday, pending an autopsy by the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office referred ABC News to Midlothian police for the autopsy results. The Midlothian Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for information.
As authorities continue their investigation and search for the suspect, Bevers’ loved ones are mourning her loss.
“Missy was a dedicated mother, wife, friend and fitness instructor,” her husband, Brandon Bevers, told ABC News in a statement. “She was very passionate about making a difference in people’s physical and mental health. She was loved and adored by many.”
Creekside Church on Tuesday wrote on Facebook its members were “heart-broken” and that they extended their “heartfelt sympathies” to all “who were close to Missy Bevers.”
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