Investigators still have “persons of interest” in the Missy Bevers murder probe, but they are keeping key evidence a secret for now, Midlothian, Texas, Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said.
Bevers, 45, was bludgeon to death with a hammer inside the Creekside Church of Christ before sunrise on April 18, 2016. Security camera video showed the killer walking the church hallways, but a helmet, gloves and a police tactical uniform covered up identifying features.
Chief Johnson broke six months of silence about the case on the first anniversary of the fitness instructor’s death, telling “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” why investigators have been so “judicious” in what they make public about the shocking murder inside a church.
“We’ve been very judicious with the information that has been released and there’s a lot of information that hasn’t been discussed and we haven’t responded to because we want to protect the integrity of the investigation,” Johnson said. Police don’t want to let the killer know what they know.
Police are also “calculated” about talking because their statements sometimes fuel online speculation targeted unfairly at Bevers’ family and close friends, who have been ruled out as suspects. “We’re talking about a human being here, with a husband, a mother, a father, three beautiful girls,” Johnson said. “It’s not just the subject of public interest. It’s a person, a member of our community.”
The “critical analysis” of police comments can be “picked apart in social media and it will lead to more insinuation and speculation,” he said.
Despite the official silence, there is an “open and active investigation” with a detective working full-time on it.
“When this investigation does draw to a close, we will open the books and I will just ask people to reserve their criticism for that day,” Johnson said. “And if we find then that there were mistakes we made, then by all means let’s discuss it.”
The Nissan Altima seen on security video circling a gun store parking lot in the hours before the murder is still a “vehicle of interest,” Johnson said. “Absolutely that’s still a component of this investigation, it’s an unknown, we would love to locate that car and that driver.”
Johnson acknowledges that his detectives are “split” on two major questions: Is the killer a man or a woman and was the killing targeted at Bevers or random? They have determined that the person walking the church hallways is between 5’2” and 5’7.”
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]