The sister-in-law of a slain fitness instructor spoke with Dateline's Kerry Sanders Thursday, recalling how she and her family found out about the death of Missy Bevers and what they told her three daughters.
Kristi Stout, the sister of Bevers' husband Brandon, who was out of state on a fishing trip when his wife was killed inside a Midlothian church Monday morning, spoke at length with NBC News about her sister-in-law's death, the investigation into her murder and what may have led someone to kill the beloved mother of three.
Stout said her mother, Missy Bevers' mother-in-law, called her at about 5:30 a.m. Monday and said she'd been told Bevers had been in a crash. While she went to be with Bevers, she asked Stout to go to her brother's home and take care of the couple's three daughters.
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A short time later, Stout said she received another call.
"An officer called my brother and said that Missy had passed," Stout said.
The girls would soon be up for school and with their father Brandon Bevers still returning from out of state, his mother and sister told the girls their mother had died.
"My mom, myself, my stepdad and my aunt and uncle went over there and we woke them up out of the bed," Stout said. "We told the girls what we were told originally. It was the most awful nightmare you could ever imagine, telling three kids they don't have a mother anymore."
It wasn't until later that police told the family that Bevers had been assaulted and died inside the church.
"I think we're really still in shock," said Marsha Tucker, Missy Bevers' mother-in-law. "I don't know if it's even hit us."
"I know a lot of people suspect the husband, so many times, but this is not the case," said Tucker. "I know that they have questioned him, looked at their phones."
In a search warrant released Thursday, police said Bevers died of a visible head wound. The Dallas County medical examiner completed an autopsy on Bevers Tuesday, but police are not releasing her specific cause of death citing the ongoing investigation.
A review of surveillance video recorded inside the church revealed the presence of another person inside the church an hour before Bevers' arrival. The person was described as wearing black, police-like clothing. Police originally thought the person was a man, but backed away from that assertion Tuesday afternoon.
"If she saw that guy that looked like a policeman, she probably thought, she probably felt safe, you know, like most people would," said Tucker.
The investigation into Bevers' death is being conducted by the Midlothian Police Department with the assistance of the Texas Rangers, FBI and ATF.
It is not yet known when the Dateline special on the death of Missy Bevers will be broadcast.
NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.