Infamous grandmother Lois Riess, who is charged with murdering her look-alike in Florida in order to evade police after being wanted for her husband’s shooting death in Minnesota, is due in the state’s court Wednesday. Prosecutors announced earlier this month that they are pursuing the death penalty against the alleged killer, KARE11 reports.
Riess, 56, reportedly met and befriended Pamela Hutchinson, 59, at the Marina Village along the Gulf of Mexico shores in Fort Myers Beach earlier this year, as CrimeOnline previously reported. The victim, apparently not realizing Riess was wanted in Dodge County, Minnesota, for the March death of her husband, David Riess, even invited the woman into her own home―the same place Hutchinson’s body was discovered in the bathroom April 9.
Authorities believe Hutchinson was killed four days earlier, when they say her phone activity abruptly stopped.
Police subsequently discovered Riess’ white Cadillac Escalade approximately one mile away, where they uncovered and photographed two knives, a receipt from Jackson, Mississippi, and a possible spot of blood. As police searched for her, records show the suspected killer was withdrawing cash from Hutchinson’s bank account while living the high life in a hotel and ordering room service under the victim’s guise.
Riess also stands accused of stealing and using Hutchinson’s vehicle. Police believe Riess chose Hutchinson because the similarities in their appearances would make it easier to steal the victim’s identity.
After an extensive, nearly month-long nationwide search, police eventually tracked Riess down in Texas, where she already befriended another woman her age. The suspect stayed in a guest room of the woman’s home and was found to be texting her for dinner plans.
A Lee County Grand Jury indicted Riess June 6 on first-degree murder charges, according to Fox 9. While she hasn’t been charged with the murder of her husband yet, court documents show both victims were shot with a .22 caliber handgun and then covered with towels or blankets.
[Feature Photo: Lois Reiss/South Padre Island Police Department]