The woman suspected of killing her husband in southern Minnesota, then fleeing to Florida, where she allegedly killed her look-alike and stole her identity, will face murder charges in Florida before being retuned to her home state for the same crime.
On Wednesday, Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said Lois Riess will go to Florida first as Minnesota continues to build its case against the 56-year-old habitual gambler.
“Second-degree murder charges will be filed once we get forensic results back from the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension],” he said. “We will bring her back to Minnesota to stand trial when Florida is done.”
Riess was arrested last Thursday on South Padre Island, Texas, after a monthlong hunt. On Monday, she signed a waiver of extradition, and a judge in Brownsville gave authorities in both states 10 days to pick her up.
Riess faces four counts in Florida: murder with a firearm, criminal use of identification, larceny and grand theft of an automobile. In Minnesota, she’s been charged with one count of larceny, with the murder charge pending.
Riess became the target of a nationwide search after her husband, David Riess, 58, was found dead on the couple’s property on March 23. The next day, Lois Riess allegedly cashed more than $10,000 in forged checks from her husband’s bank account and then gambled at the Diamond Jo Casino in Iowa. She left the casino and headed south.
On April 5, video captured Riess eating at the Smokin Oyster Bar in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., where she befriended 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson. The video showed a smiling Riess flipping back her silvery hair, a gesture that ultimately led to her capture.
Riess is accused of killing Hutchinson in her rented condo, then making off with her cash, credit cards, ID and car. Riess, known for frequenting casinos, drove from Florida to Texas, where she was seen April 8. Authorities said she took out money from Hutchinson’s bank account and stopped at casinos in Louisiana on the way.
Deputies in Lee County, Fla., found Hutchinson dead on April 9, and U.S. marshals issued an alert for Riess’ arrest. They showed her face on electronic billboards in five Southern states. Law enforcement also posted videos on social media, including one showing Riess flipping her hair back as she dined with Hutchinson by the ocean in Fort Myers Beach.
Riess made the same move at Dirty Al’s restaurant on South Padre Island last Thursday. That caught the eye of the host, who had seen the videos and called authorities.
Marshals caught up to the grandmother of five nearby at the Sea Ranch Restaurant.