Texas Law Enforcement Captures Fugitive Grandma

Law enforcement arrested 56-year-old Lois Riess for the alleged murder of her husband and a woman whose identity she may have wanted to steal.
South Padre Island Police Department

Law enforcement arrested 56-year-old Lois Riess for allegedly murdering her husband and a woman whose identity she may have wanted to steal.

According to the official statement, at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, Lois Riess was taken into custody by two federal deputy marshals at a restaurant in South Padre Island, Texas. She is suspected of murdering her husband in Minnesota and then fleeing to Florida to murder a woman who looked so much like her, she hoped to assume her identity.

City spokeswoman Angelique Soto said Riess was spotted at the restaurant by a witness who then reported the sighting to authorities. Officers confirmed her identity and made the arrest, then impounded the vehicle she allegedly stole in Florida. Deputy U.S. Marshal John Kinsey confirmed that Riess was taken without incident. He said Riess was unsurprised, that she “knew it was coming” in the wake of the news coverage about her. She had been evading the national manhunt since late March.

Riess is believed to have fatally shot her husband in their Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, home. His business partner had not seen him in two weeks and asked authorities to look for him. His body, “with multiple gunshots,” was found inside the home. Allegedly, Riess fled from there to Florida, where she slew Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Florida, in an attempt to take on her identity.

“Today’s a huge win,” Lee County, Florida, Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said. “She can’t strike again. That was our main concern. We ran a killer off the streets.”

Currently, Riess is being held in the South Padre Island jail. She is, however, expected to be extradited to Florida, where charges have been filed.

This is not the first time Riess has run afoul of the law. While charges were never filed, Riess was ordered to pay $100,000 to her younger sister upon discovery that she had been funneling money from a guardianship account into her own. The discovery also led to the loss of legal guardianship of her sister.

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