Fitness Instructor Found Dead Inside Texas Church Before Class, Police Search for Suspect Seen on Cameras in SWAT Gear
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information about the man who killed Terri Bevers, a fitness instructor
A Texas fitness instructor was discovered unresponsive on a church floor Monday morning just before she was to teach a class, and the chase is on for her suspected killer who police believe was spotted on surveillance video wearing tactical gear, PEOPLE confirms.
Police have released video footage of the suspect, dressed in SWAT gear, who was seen on surveillance cameras at the Midlothian, Texas, church, where a 45-year-old fitness instructor’s body was found.
A police spokesman tells PEOPLE the suspect entered the Creekside Church of Christ soon after 3:50 a.m. on Monday morning – about 30 minutes before Terri Bevers arrived to teach a 5 a.m. exercise class.
When one of her students discovered Bevers, she called 911. The police spokesman says officers arrived to find broken glass and other signs a struggle between Bevers and her alleged assailant.
In a press conference Monday, Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith told reporters the suspect triggered the church’s motion-activated cameras, and can be seen in the footage wearing a helmet, shin guards, gloves, a tactical vest, and a shirt with the word “POLICE” emblazoned across the back.
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Smith said during Monday’s press conference that the suspect “is designed to look like a police officer. His intent was to look like a police officer.”
In the video footage, the man can be seen carrying some sort of tool that police believe he may have used to gain access to the church. Nothing was reported missing from the church. Police have yet to rule out the possibility Bevers was specifically targeted by her killer.
The cameras failed to record any interaction between Bevers and her suspected murderer, police acknowledge.
The Dallas County medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on her remains to determine exactly how Bevers died, according to police.
On Monday evening, a group assembled for a private candlelight vigil to honor Bevers inside the Midlothian Conference Center.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest in this case.
Anyone with any information on the man’s possible identity is encouraged to call the Midlothian Police Department at (972) 775-3333.