(KMSP) - The Dodge County, Minn., Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday that Lois Riess, the Minnesota grandmother arrested last week in Texas for the alleged murder of her husband last month and another woman just a few weeks ago, will be extradited to Florida before returning to Minnesota to face trial.
Riess was arrested on South Padre Island last Thursday after a tipster recognized her sitting at a seafood restaurant, ending a 10-day manhunt that garnered international media attention. Cameron County, Texas, subsequently said the 56-year-old would be extradited to whichever state arrived to pick her up first.
She faces one charge of larceny in Minnesota and has not yet been charged in relation to her husband's death--though Riess is wanted in Florida for murder, criminal use of identification, larceny and grand theft auto.
Riess was on the run for nearly a month after she allegedly shot and killed her husband, David, a 54-year-old Navy veteran who ran Prairie Worm Farms in Blooming Prairie, Minn. On March 23 Riess withdrew $11,000 from her husband’s personal account to bankroll her gambling addiction, authorities said.
“Say if you want to start heading south, would you take 35 South?” Riess sweetly asked a cashier at 6:30 p.m. that same night inside a Kum and Go Gas station in Iowa. The gas station is right next door to the Diamond Jo Casino, where the Dodge County Sheriff says she spent the day. “Is that the way to go you think?”
By the time Riess made it to Fort Myers, Fla. she was ready to go for broke.
After befriending her Doppelganger, 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, Riess allegedly shot and killed her new friend on April 9, later stealing her license, credit cards and Acura TL.
“I’m looking at her and I know this is the lady,” said tipster George Higgenbottom, who spotted Riess inside Dirty Al’s Restaurant on South Padre Island, Texas, 10 days later. “She was enjoying herself. She always had a smile on her face. It’s just unreal for a person who was supposed be on the run. She wasn’t acting like that."
In her booking photo Riess somehow managed to crack a smile in the face of a lengthy sentence--or the death penalty, if her charges are upgraded in Florida.
A search of Riess’ hotel room also produced two hand guns.
Riess is wanted in Minnesota for larceny and in Florida for murder with a firearm, criminal use of identification, larceny and grand theft auto.
At last check the Dodge County Sheriff was working on filing second-degree murder charges against Riess in the death of her husband. Friday, deputies told Fox 9 they’d maximize the extra time to build their strongest possible case against the alleged “stone cold killer.”