SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX — The U.S. Marshals Service reports that Good Samaritan tips have led to the arrest of Lois Riess, 56.
The Minnesota grandmother allegedly shot her husband to death and fled to Florida, where police believe she met and murdered her lookalike, Pamela Hutchinson, 59, in order to steal the victim’s identity.
Following a nationwide manhunt, marshals responded to reports Thursday night that the white Acura that Riess had stolen from Hutchinson was parked outside the Sea Ranch Restaurant in South Padre Island, Texas.
Officers found Riess inside sipping a drink and appearing “cool as a cucumber.” She was then taken into custody without incident on warrants for second-degree murder, grand theft, grand theft of a vehicle, and criminal use of personal identification.
Undersheriff Carmine Marceno of Lee County, Florida, where Riess is accused of killing Hutchinson, told the press:
“I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs. 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.”
Sea Ranch manager Becky Galvan said that Riess had been in the restaurant for about an hour and a half and didn’t appear dangerous. Galvan said the arrest went down smoothly at 8:30 P.M., noting, “It happened within seconds. They came in, and they left.”
Reports have surfaced claiming that Riess is a gambling addict known in her tiny hometown of Blooming Prairie by the nickname “Losing Streak Lois.”
After allegedly killing her husband, Riess is accused of emptying his bank account and driving to Florida. She appears on surveillance video happily chatting up Pamela Hutchinson at the Smokin’ Oyster Restaurant in Fort Myers. The resemblance between the two women is said to be unmistakable.
Security footage from a nearby motel later that evening allegedly shows Riess leaving Hutchinson’s room by herself. Police allege that Riess fatally shot her doppelgänger, then stole Hutchinson’s cash, credit cards, and driver’s license, and drove south.
Authorities initially worried that Riess would try to cross the border into Mexico, but a South Padre Island motel manager said she had checked in and “paid up for a couple of weeks.” At present, Riess is staying behind bars.
Further celebrating the arrest, Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said: “Today’s a huge win. She can’t strike again. That was our main concern. We ran a killer off the streets.”
Recommended For You:
Main photo: Lois Riess [South Padre Island Police]