MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — What began with murder and theft in Dodge County is now a nationwide dragnet. Fifty-six-year-old Lois Ann Riess remains on the run.
“The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office are now preparing second degree murder charges against Lois Riess for the murder of her husband, David,” Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said.
Riess’s crime spree began March 23 in Blooming Prairie. Business partners of her husband hadn’t seen him for two weeks and asked for a welfare check.
Police went to the couple’s residence in Blooming Prairie and discovered him dead inside the home. He had been shot several times.
After that discovery, investigators tried to locate Lois Riess but were unsuccessful. Also missing was David’s Cadillac Escalade.
Investigators say that Lois then forged signatures on $11,000 in her husband’s business account.
She was later traced to an Iowa casino but authorities say they showed up after she had left.
They believe that Riess drove to Florida, where she apparently ditched the Cadillac Escalade at a park near Fort Meyers Beach.
Then on Monday evening, police there were called to Marina Village Snug Harbor condominiums where the body of 59-year-old Pamela Sellers Hutchinson was discovered in one of the units.
“Riess’s mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and steal their identity,” Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marcino said.
That’s what they believe happened to Hutchinson, who resembles Riess with her now bleached blond hair.
Police say after shooting Hutchinson with what is believed to be the same gun used on her husband, Riess stole her victim’s identification, credit cards, and car.
Surveillance images show Riess walking outside the building and driving away in a white 2005 Honda Acura, with Florida license Y37-TAA.
“We want to warn everybody, Riess is considered to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached,” Rose said.
After Riess left Florida investigators believe she drove 1,300 miles along the gulf coast to Louisiana and Texas. They believe her last known whereabouts is in the Corpus Christi area where they’ve yet to locate her.
There’s a very real fear that Riess could kill again, in a desperate race to extend her run, possibly to Mexico.
Anyone with information on Riess is asked to contact the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Tip Line at: 1-(877)-966-6222.