Minnesota Woman Faces Death Penalty for Double Homicide
FLORIDA — July 6, 2018
According to the Florida State Attorney's Office 20th Judicial Circuit, Lois Riess, 56, is accused of shooting and killing her husband in Minnesota before traveling to Florida, where she found and killed her twin sister Pamela Hutchinson in an attempt to assume her identity.
Riess apparently intended to assume her twin's identity for a short time before fleeing the country. Reiss shot her husband, David Riess, 54, forged his signature in order to take $11,000 from his Bank account, and then went to a casino in Iowa.
The case began in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, where authorities said 54-year-old David Riess hadn't been seen in more than two weeks as of March 23, at which point one his business partners requested that law enforcement investigate his home.
There, police found Riess' body. He had been shot multiple times, according to the Dodge County Sheriff's Office.
Lois Riess in the meantime had fled to Florida. There, she met Pamela Hutchinson, her twin sister. In the course of the following month, Riess gained her trust and exploited her sister's loneliness. She then proceeded to murder her, take possession of her identity using documents and credit cards from the Hutchinson's apartment.
"She was also indicted for Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Grand Theft and Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information of a Deceased Individual, $5,000 or more," said in the State Attorney's Office statement.
Lois Reiss was placed on the Federal wanted list, and detained on April, 20 in a small Texas town near the Mexican border, where she was recognized by a residents who proceeded to call 911.
When the police arrived at the scene, Riess was sitting alone in a restaurant: witnesses say she didn't seem surprised and was perfectly calm during the arrest.
Police found two pistols in the motel room where Reiss was allegedly staying in South Padre Island.
"This case from the very beginning struck at me as odd," Florida's Lee County deputy sheriff Carmine Marceno told reporters during a joint news conference with U.S. Marshals . "We look at her appearance - she looks like anybody’s mother or grandmother, yet she’s an absolute cold-blooded murderer."
Reiss currently remains in custody without bond. She faces charges of double homicide, grand theft auto, larceny and fraud-impersonation. If the court finds her guilty, she could face the death penalty.
"Lois Riess will be going to Florida first while we continue to build the strongest case possible against her here in Minnesota," stated Minnesota's Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose. "We will bring her back to Minnesota to stand trial when Florida is done."
While on the run, Reiss lived off the money she had won at a Louisiana casino. She used her real name to claim $2,500 in winnings at the casino before heading to southern Texas. The casino's employees only noticed her name several days later while processing the receipts.