Video courtesy of Lee County Sheriff's Office
FORT MYERS, Fla. (KMSP) - Florida authorities have released new surveillance video of Lois Riess, the 56-year-old Minnesota woman accused of murdering her husband last month and a Florida woman last week.
The surveillance video shows Riess befriending her alleged victim, 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, at Smokin’ Oyster Brewery at Fort Myers Beach on April 5.
Hutchinson was found shot dead in her home in Fort Myers on April 9. Authorities believe Riess killed Hutchinson to assume her identity. Hutchinson’s credit cards, personal information and vehicle were all missing from her home.
A warrant has been issued for Riess’ arrest in connection with the Hutchinson’s murder. Authorities believe she has fled southwest Florida and may now be in the Corpus Christi, Texas area. The U.S. Marshals have now joined the search.
Authorities have been looking for Riess since March, when her husband, David Riess, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Riess is also wanted on felony theft charges for allegedly transferring close to $10,000 from a bank account for her husband’s business to another of his personal accounts before forging his signature on three checks totaling $11,000.
The series of murders is especially baffling for those in Riess' hometown of Blooming Prairie, Minn., with many residents now expressing concern for the woman's three adult children.
"I just find it hard to believe as a grandmother to be that careless, to be that heartless," said Dina Ott. "I just hope whatever it takes for them to find peace they’re able to find it."
Anyone who has had recent contact with Riess or has any information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s tip line at 1-877-996-6222 or contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.