Reward offered in Minn. fugitive wanted in 2 murders

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The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota and a woman in Florida.  Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $1,000 in the case.  

Fifty-six-year-old Lois Riess has been on the run since her husband, 54-year-old David Riess, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds at their home in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, on March 23. Dodge County sheriff's officials say second-degree murder charges in his death are expected in the next few days. 

Officials believe she used the same gun to kill 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, of Bradenton, Florida. She was found dead on April 9. Authorities say the two women talked at a bar and that Riess killed Hutchinson to assume her identity.  Surveillance video of that alleged encounter was released on Monday, where a woman said to be Riess is seen smiling and talking to the woman believed to be Hutchinson.

Hutchinson’s credit cards, personal identification and vehicle were all missing from her home, said Lee County Undersheriff Marceno Bio.  Authorities believe Riess targeted Hutchinson because of their similar appearance. 

“Riess’ mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and to steal their identity,” Bio said at a press conference on Friday. 

Another set of surveillance videos was released by the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday which shows a woman, identified as Riess, stopping at the Hilton hotel in Ocala, Florida.  

"The videos show the vehicle Lois Riess is said to be driving, as well as Riess walking inside the hotel and walking up to the hotel counter," said Tiffany Wood, Lee County Sheriff's Office spokesperson. 

Riess is also wanted on felony theft charges for allegedly transferring close to $10,000 from a bank account for her husband’s business to another of his personal accounts before forging his signature on three checks totaling $11,000. 

Riess is believed to be driving Hutchinson’s white 2005 Acura TL with Florida license plate Y37TAA, which has been spotted in Louisiana and Corpus Christi.   Riess is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached if located.

Anyone who has had recent contact with Riess or has any information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s tip line at 1-877-996-6222 or contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.