Sheriff: Gun found in Lois Riess' hotel room also used in husband's murder

Lois Riess of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota is charged in Florida with the murder her lookalike in Fort Myers earlier this year. 

Authorities have determined the gun recovered in the Texas hotel room of Lois Riess, the Minnesota woman accused of killing a woman in Fort Myers, Florida last year to steal her identity, was used in the murder of her husband in Blooming Prairie. 

Riess’s husband, 54-year-old David Riess, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds on March 23. Authorities began looking for Lois after she withdrew $11,000 from David’s bank account. 

Authorities believe Lois fled to Florida, where she allegedly befriended 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, and then killed her to steal her identity. After a 10-day nationwide manhunt, U.S. Marshals arrested her at a bar in South Padre Island, Texas on April 19. 

Investigators with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office have been waiting for the alleged murder weapon to be released in Florida for forensics testing in Minnesota.

In late January, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completed their testing on the handgun, a .22 caliber semi-automatic, and determined the shell casings found at the scene of David’s murder matched the gun found in Lois’ hotel room when she was arrested. 

With their investigation now complete, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office has submitted the case to the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office for review. 

“We’ve had our case ready since shortly after Lois was arrested, however it was important to the integrity of the case to have the forensics completed on the alleged murder weapon before formally charging Mrs. Riess,” Sheriff Scott Rose said. 

In Florida, Riess has already been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of Hutchinson. Her next court appearance is on April 14.