Criminals have never been known to shy away from desperate acts, especially when they’re on the run from the law.
This was illustrated in the case of 56-year-old Lois Riess, who was suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota. After performing the act, the woman allegedly took off.
When 54-year-old David Riess was found with a fatal gunshot wound in his Blooming Prairie, Minnesota home, his wife was the prime suspect. She was on the run since late March when the incident occurred, and she became a target of a nationwide search by law enforcement.
Eyewitness accounts had helped authorities stay on the woman’s trail since the time of her disappearance. On March 23, she was reportedly spotted at a casino and convenience store in the northern part of Iowa. She was caught on video making purchases and asking for directions south.
But March 23 was a very eventful day for this case, and not just because of the woman’s appearance. It was also the day when a business partner of David Riess had requested authorities to perform a welfare check. No one at work had seen the man for over two weeks and they were beginning to get worried.
The responding authorities found a grisly sight every officer dreads when performing a welfare check – the individual was murdered. It was reported he was found with multiple gunshot wounds, though they weren’t able to determine exactly how long he’d been deceased at the time they found him.
After going to the location where the victim’s wife was reportedly seen, officers were not able to find her.
But the fleeing woman didn’t attempt to make a peaceful escape. The trail of bodies continued when she arrived in Florida. She is believed to have claimed another victim once there. Pamela Hutchinson, a 59-year-old from the town of Bradenton, was found dead in the Fort Myers Beach area on April 9. She was reportedly found to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
Authorities believe the same weapon was used in both killings, but the reason behind the second is even more chilling than someone taking the life of their own spouse. It is believed Riess killed Hutchinson to assume her identity as the two women were physically similar in appearance.
Surveillance camera footage shows the two women having a talk and smiling at a brewery in the area on April 5. Hutchinson had reportedly moved to Florida only a year before from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Riess was finally captured at a restaurant in South Padre Island, Texas, a beach resort not far from the Mexico border. Two federal deputy marshals arrested her, putting an end to the chase and bringing some degree of closure to the devastated loved ones of the deceased individuals.
There are no confirmations at this time regarding what type of sentencing the woman will face for her crimes or what motivated the initial murder. It was reported she stole $11,000 from her late husband, perhaps to pay for a gambling addiction.