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Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Lois Riess Double Murder Case

     On March 23, 2018, in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, Dodge County sheriff deputies went to the home of 59-year-old David Riess after his business partner reported that he hadn't seen him for two weeks. Riess's wife Lois had texted friends that Mr. Riess was not well and should not be bothered at home. At the Riess house police officers discovered David Riess's body. He had been shot to death with a .22-caliber gun that was not at the murder scene. Lois Riess was not in the house and no one knew where she was.

     A few days after the discovery of Mr. Riess' body Lois Riess began forging checks drawn on his bank account. The checks were cashed in south Florida.

     A few days after the discovery of Mr. Riess's body Dodge County, Minnesota prosecutor charged Mrs. Riess with the murder of her husband. At this point the missing 56-year-old murder suspect became known in the local media as "The Grandma Fugitive."

     While hiding in Fort Myers, Florida Lois Riess met Pamela Hutchinson, a woman who looked a lot like her. The 54-year-old Hutchinson lived in Bradenton, Florida but was staying in a hotel in Fort Myers where she had traveled to visit a friend.

     On April 5, 2018 Lois Riess shot Pamela Hutchinson to death in the victim's hotel room. Her body was discovered four days after the murder. Police officers recovered the murder weapon, a .22-caliber handgun from the scene. This weapon was determined to be the gun used to kill David Riess in Minnesota. Lois Riess had killed Mrs. Hutchinson, her lookalike, in order to use her identification. From Florida Riess drove to Texas in the murder victim's car.

     On April 10, 2018, a Lee County, Florida prosecutor charged Lois Riess with the first-degree murder of Pamela Hutchinson.

     On April 19, 2018, U.S. Marshals took "The Fugitive Grandma" into custody in South Padre Island, Texas. Riess was having a cocktail at a waterfront restaurant.

     Lois Riess, in December 2019, pleaded guilty to murdering Pamela Hutchinson in Fort Myers, Florida. The Lee County judge sentenced her to life in prison.

     Following Riess' guilty plea, the Dodge County authorities in Minnesota began the process of extraditing her back to that state to stand trial for the March 2018 murder of her husband.
     In April 2020 Lois Riess pleaded guilty to murdering David Riess. The judge sentenced her to life in prison without parole.

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