SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – A woman who met Lois Riess while she was on the run in Texas thought she made “a new friend” and even allowed the alleged killer to stay overnight in her guest room.
That information comes from new documents from the Florida state attorney's office, which detail Riess’ movements before her arrest in Texas after allegedly killing Pamela Hutchinson in Fort Myers, Florida, after fleeing Minnesota after her husband, David, was killed in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.
Riess has been charged with first-degree murder in Florida. Charges are pending against Riess for murder in Dodge County, Minnesota.
According to the case report, a woman named Bernadette was eating alone at a restaurant in South Padre when she and Riess - who went by the name Donna - struck up a conversation on April 14.
Bernadette dropped Riess off at a Motel 6 that night before arranging dinner plans for the following day.
While meeting for dinner, Bernadette was informed by the bartender that she “seemed out of it” after one or two drinks.
Bernadette said she “does not remember why she allowed the suspect to come back to her residence with her, but the two of them ended up there and spent time in the community hot tub.”
“Afterwards, Bernadette retired to her room and the suspect stayed in the guest bedroom,” the document states.
The two had breakfast together the next morning before Bernadette dropped Riess off at Motel 6.
The two were set to have dinner together on April 20, but while at the restaurant Bernadette was informed by the bartender that the suspect had been arrested.
The suspect appeared “completely normal, calm and friendly,” Bernadette told investigators.
Other notes of interest
- Lois Riess allegedly used the name “Stormy Liberty,” which was linked to a cell phone account.
- The body of Pamela Hutchinson was found on April 9 at 9:01 p.m. after an employee of Marina Villige at Snug Harbor in Fort Myers, Florida, responded for an unknown plumbing issue.
- A search warrant at a Motel 6 in South Padre Island, Texas, resulted in the finding of two handguns – a 9 mm and a .22 caliber - along with clothing which Riess was seen wearing in surveillance videos.
Located next to the firearms was a black bag that included bullets, a holster, duct tape, rubber gloves, a checkbook belonging to Hutchinson along with four credit cards and a trophy.
- Before Riess was read her Miranda warning, she requested an attorney and no statement was given.
- From the time Riess checked into the Motel 6 to seeing her the next time, a motel employee stated “she appeared to be a completely different woman.” She was said to be dressed “more provocatively.”
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