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Prosecutors: Lois Riess may have been planning another murder

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 07:24:06-04

New documents show Lois Riess may have been planning to kill again in South Padre Island, Texas, where she was arrested.

Riess is accused of killing her husband in Minnesota, then driving to Fort Myers Beach and killing a woman there. Deputies believe she killed that woman because she thought they looked alike and she wanted to steal the victim's identity. 

Lois Riess was captured in Texas on April 19th.

The manager of the timeshare Hutchinson was staying in on Fort Myers Beach told investigators Hutchinson checked in on April 3rd and was supposed to leave on April 5th. But, she called on the 5th asking to extend through the day. Later that night, she says someone she thought was Hutchinson called to extend through the weekend, and provided a different credit card number than the one she checked in with. 

Riess and Hutchinson were seen on surveillance video going in and out of the Fort Myers Beach condo together multiple times. On April 5th at 7:46 p.m., surveillance video shows the pair walking into the condo together. At 8:34 that same night, surveillance video shows Riess walking toward the elevator and standing there alone until 8:47 p.m., appearing distraught, upset, and possibly crying. The two were never spotted together again.

The documents also shed light on what happened after Pamela Hutchinson was killed. According to deputies, the manager of the timeshare found her when he went to check to make sure water was working in her unit. Inside the unit, she found a towel pushed under the door, and when they opened it they smelled something bad and found Hutchinson's body and her cell phone on the master bathroom floor. 

Deputies found her car abandoned on at Bowditch Point on Fort Myers Beach. Inside, they say there was clothing, what appears to be blood, knives, a mannequin head, crackers and a map of a hiking park in Minnesota. 

The documents show the two murders--Riess' husband's and Pamela Hutchinson's--were similar. Both were shot and killed in bathrooms. Her husband was covered with a blanket, while Hutchinson was covered with a pillow and towels. In both cases, investigators said she used the victim's cars and credit cards, and after both murders, authorities said she stuffed a towel under the crack at the bottom of the doors, seemingly to keep the stench from getting out.

After capturing Riess in South Padre Island, Texas, investigators searched the car she was in -- Hutchinson's white Acura detectives say Riess had stolen after her death. Inside, they found several different items, including a Minnesota-Wisconsin AAA brochure, a prescription pill bottle, a comic strip depicting the devil with a pitchfork, stained blankets and sheets, a black bag investigators say she was carrying out of the Fort Myers Beach condo with guns inside, and a brand new cell phone box.

Investigators say she may have been planning to kill again. They say she befriended a woman in South Padre Island and went to dinner with her. That woman invited her to the community hot tub, then allowed Riess to sleep in the guest bedroom. They went out to breakfast the next morning, but Riess was arrested shortly after.