SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (AP) — A woman who investigators believe killed her husband in Minnesota then fled to Florida where she used the same gun to slay her doppelganger with the intention of assuming her identity has been captured at a South Texas resort.
Two federal deputy marshals arrested Lois Riess, 56, about 8:30 p.m. Thursday at a restaurant in South Padre Island, Texas, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. South Padre Island is a beach resort community 27 miles (43 kilometers) from the crossing into Mexico.
Riess had been on the run since at least late March when her husband, 54-year-old David Riess, was found fatally shot at their home in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. She became the subject of a nationwide hunt.
"I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs," said Undersheriff Carmine Marceno with Lee county. "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."
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She had been seen on March 23 at a convenience store and casino in northern Iowa. Authorities released video showing Riess approaching the store cashier, buying a sandwich and asking for directions south of the state. The store is next to a casino where authorities say Riess spent the day gambling before stopping at the gas station.
It was also on March 23 that David Riess' business partner called authorities to ask them to check on him. The partner said no one at work had seen David Riess in more than two weeks. Authorities found David Riess' body inside his home with multiple gunshots.
They were not able to determine how long he had been dead and could not find his wife. They learned Lois Riess may have been at the casino in Iowa, but she wasn't there when they went looking for her.
From there, investigators believed she went to Florida where she killed 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Florida.
Authorities were called to Fort Myers Beach on April 9 and found Hutchinson dead, with gunshot wounds. Investigators believe Riess used the same gun to kill her husband and Hutchinson and that she killed Hutchinson to assume her identity.
Surveillance video showed Riess smiling and talking with Hutchinson on April 5 at a brewery in Fort Myers Beach. Authorities say she may have targeted Hutchinson because the two women looked alike.
Hutchinson had moved to Florida last year from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
We are expecting to learn more information about the arrest Friday morning. Stay with KIMT for the latest.