Police in Texas are now questioning whether a suspect they believe killed a mother of three in a church early Monday was a man as originally stated.
"We are backing off our statement that the suspect on video was a man," Midlothian Assistant Police Chief Kevin Johnson said Tuesday. "I know we said 'he' over and over again yesterday, and that was a mistake."
The suspect was captured in surveillance footage stalking the halls inside Creekside Church of Christ leading up to the predawn murder of 45-year-old mother of three Terri "Missy" Bevers.
Authorities were clear, however, that their new statement means only the suspect might not be a man.
"That does not mean I'm saying this suspect is a woman. It's just that at this point we can’t rule it out. We don't know yet," Johnson said.
Bevers was in the church around 4 a.m. to teach her boot camp style fitness class.
When her students arrived at 5 a.m., they found her unresponsive and called 911. EMS workers arrived minutes later and noticed broken glass and other indications of a struggle around the woman's body.
Police said the suspect was seen carrying a tool used to break into multiple rooms in the church, but they did not reveal a cause of death.
Bevers was the first person killed in Midlothian in seven years, police believe.
On Monday, Texas-based Oak Farms Dairy posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Bevers' killer.
“We are exploring all possibilities,” Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith told reporters. “It’s just an odd random situation that they would happen to come into a building that’s being burglarized on a Monday morning but all scenarios are on the table right now.”
Police first discovered evidence of forced entry before a review of the security tapes showed the suspected intruder clad in police-style tactical gear including a helmet and vest.