BLOOMING PRAIRIE — Lois Riess, the 56-year-old rural Blooming Prairie woman who is wanted for murder in both Minnesota and Florida, is seen laughing with one of her alleged victims in a surveillance tape released Monday by law enforcement officials in Florida.
The tape — a seven-second video clip — shows Riess in a Fort Myers Beach restaurant with Pamela Hutchinson, 59, of Bradenton, Florida, on April 5. Investigators say Riess befriended Hutchinson because of the similarities in their looks. Once they became friends, Riess allegedly shot and killed Hutchinson, stole her cash, credit cards and identification, and left the area driving Hutchinson’s car. The last the vehicle was seen was in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Law enforcement also believe that Riess went to Florida only after she killed her husband, David Riess, 54, of rural Blooming Prairie sometime in mid-March. The medical examiner said David Riess died of multiple gunshot wounds.
In an interview, aired on NBC’s Today show on Monday morning, Carmine Marceno, the undersheriff for Lee County, Florida, warned that Lois Riess may not be through with her killing spree. Marceno said that Riess will run out of money, become more desperate and could possibly kill again.
“Riess may look like anyone’s mother or grandmother, but she’s an absolute coldblooded murderer,” Marceno said on the Today show interview.
The search for Lois Riess began just across the Dodge County line on the night of March 23 after Dodge County Sheriff’s deputies found the body of David Riess in their home. Since then various investigative bodies — from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to the U.S. Marshals in both Minnesota and Florida — have joined the search. Now the search is being described as a nationwide manhunt.