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Minnesota woman sought in death of husband and Florida woman

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 4 days ago By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press
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UPDATE: FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Newly released surveillance video shows a woman in a Florida bar smiling and talking with a fellow patron whom police say she later killed so she could steal her identity.

The video released by the Lee County Sheriff's Office shows 56-year-old Lois Riess of Bloomberg Prairie, Minnesota, talking to 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson April 5 at the Smokin' Oyster Brewery in Fort Myers Beach.

Police say Riess is also wanted for the March slaying of husband David Riess in Minnesota. Authorities say she may have targeted Hutchinson because the two women looked alike. Riess is still at large. Authorities say she stole Hutchinson's car, which has been seen in Louisiana and Texas.

Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno says that although Riess "may look like anyone's mother or grandmother, she's an absolute cold-blooded murderer."

EARLIER: MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota woman who is wanted in connection with her husband's death is now charged with killing a Florida woman who resembled her, then stealing the woman's identity as she eluded authorities, officials said Friday.

Lois Riess, 56, of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, has been charged in the shooting death of Pamela Hutchinson, 59, of Bradenton, Florida. Authorities were called to an area of Fort Myers Beach on Monday and found Hutchinson dead, with gunshot wounds.

Authorities aren't aware of any connection between the two women, but they believe Riess shot and killed Hutchinson to assume her identity.

"Ms. Hutchinson's purse was found to be in disarray and all cash, credit cards and identification appeared to be removed," Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said, adding: "Further investigation revealed that Ms. Hutchinson was targeted by the suspect due to the similarities in their appearance."

Riess is believed to be driving Hutchinson's car, a white Acura TL with Florida license plate Y37TAA. The car has been seen in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, since Hutchinson died. Riess' 2005 white Cadillac Escalade was found abandoned in a Florida park.

Riess is wanted in Florida for murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle and grand theft and criminal use of personal identification. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

"Riess's mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and steal their identity," Marceno said. "U.S. Marshals are actively involved in a national search for this dangerous fugitive. Riess is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached if located."

This undated photo provided by the Dodge County, Minn., Sheriff's Office shows Lois Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minn., who is being sought in connection with the killing of a Florida woman. Riess is charged in the shooting death of Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Fla. Authorities don't believe the women knew each other, but that Riess killed Hutchinson earlier this week to assume her identity. Riess is also wanted in the March death of her husband, David Riess. She has not yet been charged in that case. (Dodge County Sheriff's Office via AP) © The Associated Press This undated photo provided by the Dodge County, Minn., Sheriff's Office shows Lois Riess, of Blooming Prairie, Minn., who is being sought in connection with the killing of a Florida woman. Riess is charged in the shooting death of Pamela Hutchinson of Bradenton, Fla. Authorities don't believe the women knew each other, but that Riess killed Hutchinson earlier this week to assume her identity. Riess is also wanted in the March death of her husband, David Riess. She has not yet been charged in that case. (Dodge County Sheriff's Office via AP) Riess is also wanted in the March death of her husband, David Riess. Prosecutors are preparing second-degree murder charges in that case. Minnesota's Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said Friday that authorities believe the same gun was used in both killings.

Anyone who sees Reiss is urged to call 911, and anyone with information on her whereabouts is urged to call the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or Florida authorities.

Riess has been on the run since at least late March, after David Riess's business partner called Dodge County authorities on March 23 to ask them to check on him. The partner said no one at work had seen David Riess in over two weeks.

Authorities found David Riess's body inside his home with multiple gunshots. They couldn't determine how long he had been dead, and investigators could not find his wife.

During the investigation, authorities learned that Lois Riess may have been at Diamond Jo Casino in Iowa. Authorities from Dodge County, the BCA and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation went to the casino, but Riess had already left. Authorities later learned she was in south Florida. a man and a woman sitting in a room: Authorities on manhunt for woman suspected of killing look-alike © Provided by NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC Authorities on manhunt for woman suspected of killing look-alike

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