South Padre Island, TX – Police caught a Minnesota woman suspected of killing her husband and then a look-a-like woman to steal her identity.
Lois Riess, 56, was arrested Thursday at a restaurant in Texas while sipping a drink at a bar and appeared “cool as a cucumber,” the Washington Post reported.
The Sea Ranch Restaurant manager Becky Galvan told the Washington Post that U.S. Marshall Service picked up Riess at her bar.
Riess had checked in at a local hotel and had paid up for a couple weeks, according to police. It was unclear if she had plans to try to get to Mexico, which was less than 30 miles away.
Riess was the subject of a national manhunt as she was suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota and then killing Pamela Hutchinson in Florida. Hutchinson had the same hair color as Riess and police suspect Riess killed Hutchinson so she could steal her identity.
Authorities said they think that Riess stole her husband’s money so she could go gambling in Iowa before travelling to Florida.
The Washington Post reported that Riess was known as “Losing Streak Lois” in the small town of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota because of her gambling addiction, according to U.S. marshals.
“I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs,” said Undersheriff Carmine Marceno of Lee County, Florida, according to the Washington Post. “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 was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, grand theft, grand theft of a vehicle and criminal use of personal identification.
David Riess, the husband of Lois, had been missing for a couple of weeks when his business partner in a worm farm operation contacted police and asked them to check up on him.
When police arrived March 23 at the worm farm, they found David Riess dead from several gunshot wounds.
Police believe Lois Riess fled to Iowa to gamble and then went to Florida, where she became friends with Hutchinson. Riess was on surveillance video dining with Hutchinson on April 5 and then caught in surveillance photographs at Hutchinson’s Fort Myers condo. Four days later, police found Hutchinson dead in her condo.
Police believe that Riess used the same gun to kill her husband and Hutchinson.