Grandmother and alleged killer of 2, captured
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (CBSNews) -- A woman suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota and a woman in Florida was captured Thursday night at a South Texas resort. Two federal deputy marshals arrested Lois Riess, 56, about 8:30 p.m. at a South Padre Island, Texas, restaurant, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. South Padre Island is a beach resort community 27 miles from the border with Mexico.
Riess had been on the run since at least late March when her husband, 54-year-old David Riess, was found fatally shot at their home in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. She became the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
She had been seen on March 23 at a convenience store and casino in northern Iowa. Authorities released video showing Riess approaching the store cashier, buying a sandwich and asking for directions south, out of the state. The store is next to a casino where authorities say Riess spent the day gambling before stopping at the gas station.
It was also on March 23 that David Riess's business partner called authorities to ask them to check on him. The partner said no one at work had seen David Riess in more than two weeks. Authorities found David Riess's body inside his home with multiple gunshots.
They weren't able to determine how long he'd been dead and couldn't find his wife. They learned Lois Riess may have been at the casino in Iowa, but she wasn't there when they went looking for her.
From there, she was believed to have gone to Florida. That's where investigators allege she killed 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Florida.
Authorities were called to an area of Fort Myers Beach on April 9 and found Hutchinson dead in her condominium, with gunshot wounds.
Riess, who reportedly loves to gamble, stopped at different casinos before driving to Ft. Myers, authorities said.
Investigators believe Riess used the same gun that killed her husband to fatally shoot Hutchinson.
Surveillance video showed Riess smiling and talking with Hutchinson on April 5 at a brewery in Fort Myers Beach. Authorities say she may have targeted Hutchinson because the two women looked alike, possibly a fatal coincidence for Hutchinson.
Detectives say Riess murdered her, then stole her white Acura, credit cards and her identity.
"Suspect Riess, although she may look like anyone's mother or grandmother," Carmine Marceno, Lee County, Florida undersheriff, said at the time. "She's an absolute cold-blooded murderer."
Hutchinson had moved to Florida last year from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TV reports that Marceno said in a statement after the arrest, "I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs. Tonight, she sits in a jail cell in Texas. We are working as expeditiously as possible to bring her back to Lee County to face murder charges."