A national manhunt is underway for a woman suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota before driving down to Florida, killing a woman she resembled and stealing her identity.
Lois Riess, 56, is a suspect in the death of her husband, 54-year-old David Riess. After a business partner said he hadn't heard from David for two weeks, police found David dead in his home in rural Blooming Prairie with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police said Riess stole her husband's white 2005 Cadillac Escalade, which was found abandoned in Florida last week, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Police believe Riess murdered a second person last week: Pamela Hutchinson, 59 of Bradenton, Florida. She was was found dead inside a timeshare condo in Fort Myers Beach, according to the News-Press in Fort Myers. Investigators said Riess shot and killed Hutchinson to assume her identity.
Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno told NBC News that she targetted Hutchinson because they look similiar.
"This is the first time in my career that I’ve seen someone steal someone’s identity and target them for the way they look, in order to murder them," Marceno said. After Riess allegedly killed Hutchinson, police said she stole Hutchinson's credit cards and drivers liscense.
A cousin of Hutchinson thinks her generosity and kindness got her killed.
"My cousin went out helping the world,” Daniele Jeffreys told WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia. “She befriended this woman. The woman probably gave her some sob story, she took her in.”
Police believe Riess is now driving Hutchinson’s vehicle, a white Acura TL, last seen with Florida license plate Y37TAA. The car has reportedly been spotted in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas after Hutchinson’s death. Second-degree murder charges against Riess are pending. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said she likely used the same gun in both killings.
Riess is described as 5-feet 5-inches tall and weighing 165 pounds with brown eyes and blond hair. Anybody with information is urged to call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 1-877-996-6222. Callers can remain anonymous. Riess is believed to be armed and dangerous.
[Photo: Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension]