Lois Riess, a Minnesota woman allegedly addicted to gambling, is accused of shooting her husband to death and, then, while on the run, authorities allege she gunned down a stranger in Fort Myers, Florida in order to assume the woman’s identity. Police allege that Riess killed the Florida woman simply because they looked alike.
“Her mode of operation is to befriend women who look like her and steal their identity,” said Lee County, Florida Undersheriff Carmine Marcino in a news conference. Authorities say the Blooming Prairie woman, 56, who is still at large, has now left two victims in her wake: Her husband, David Riess, and Floridian Pamela Hutchinson, who was a stranger to her.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Accuse Riess of Murdering a Florida Woman Because They Looked Alike
On April 9, 2018, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department responded to a medical assistance call in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. They found Pamela Hutchinson, 59, dead of gunshot wounds. The medical examiner’s office determined that she was the victim of a homicide, Marcino said.
The investigation found that Hutchinson’s purse was in disarray and all cash, credit cards, and identification appeared to be removed. Her vehicle and car keys were gone too. “She was targeted by the suspect due to the similarities in their appearance,” Marcino said, adding that Riess is a person of interest in a Minnesota homicide. An arrest warrant was obtained for Riess.
According to the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension, “The Lee County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office has identified Lois Riess as a suspect in the shooting death of Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Florida. Investigators believe the Blooming Prairie woman may have killed Hutchinson earlier this week in order to assume her identity.”
It appears that Hutchinson and Riess did not know each other previously, at least as far as authorities know. The Bureau added, “Investigators are not aware of any connection between Lois Riess and Hutchinson.”
2. Riess Is a Person of Interest in the Murder of Her Husband, David
Photos released by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
Before she was wanted for the death of Hutchinson, Riess was being sought in connection with the death of her husband, David Riess. According to CBS Local, “Business partners of her husband hadn’t seen him for two weeks and asked for a welfare check. Police went to the couple’s residence in Blooming Prairie and discovered him dead inside the home. He had been shot several times.” Lois Riess had vanished, as had David’s car, CBS reported, adding that authorities believed that Lois Riess “forged signatures on $11,000 in her husband’s business account” and visited a casino in Iowa.
“The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and Dodge County Attorney’s Office are preparing second-degree murder charges against Lois Riess for the March 2018 murder of her husband David Riess. Investigators believe Pamela Hutchinson may have been killed with the same firearm used to murder David Riess,” The Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension wrote.
#NEW: ME identifies Blooming Prairie homicide victim as David Riess, 54. …read more