After ten days, the nationwide manhunt for an alleged gambling addict turned murderer is over. Lois Riess, the fugitive accused of murdering her husband and then a doppelganger, was arrested on Thursday evening in a Texas resort.
Riess, 56, was captured in the beach resort community of South Padre Island, Texas by the two members of the U.S. Marshal Service, according to the Associated Press. Before her arrest, she was enjoying a drink inside the Sea Ranch Restaurant, the restaurant’s manager, Becky Galvan told The Washington Post.
"I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs," Undersheriff Carmine Marceno with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said in a statement. "Tonight, she sits in a jail cell in Texas. We are working as expeditiously as possible to bring her back to Lee County to face murder charges."
Riess is accused of killing her husband 54-year-old David Riess last month. 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.
Then, Riess allegedly 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 targeted Hutchinson because they look similar.
"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 car, credit cards and driver's license.
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 allegedly has a gambling addiction, according to KMSP in Minneapolis. In addition to having to face murder charges, Riess is wanted on grand theft charges for allegedly stealing $11,000 from her husband after he died. It’s unclear if that was the motive behind his murder.
[Photo: Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension]