Lois Riess

Lois Riess, a granny with a gambling problem, is the main suspect in a double homicide – of her husband, David Riess and a Florida woman, Pamela Hutchinson, who police believed was targeted purely because of her resemblance to the killer. (Image: Minnesota BCA)

A nationwide manhunt is underway in the US for a 56-year-old Minnesota woman who is suspected of murdering her husband last month before shooting to death a woman in Florida and stealing her identity.

On Friday, Lois Riess, known to authorities as “Losing Streak Lois,” was charged in her absence with killing Pamela Hutchinson, a woman who resembled her. Riess is a mother of three adult children and a grandmother, according to Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose. He also said Reiss has a “gambling problem” and “financial problems.”

Hutchinson’s body was found at her home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, on April 9 with multiple gunshot wounds. Police said they were not aware of any personal connection between the two women and believe Hutchinson was targeted purely for identity theft.

“Ms. Hutchinson’s purse was found to be in disarray and all cash, credit cards and identification appeared to be removed,” said Lee County, Undersheriff Carmine Marceno during a news conference. “Further investigation revealed that Ms. Hutchinson was targeted by the suspect due to the similarities in their appearance.”

Stone-Cold Killer

Two weeks earlier, the body of Riess’ husband, David Riess, was found riddled with gunshot wounds at their family home in Blooming Prairie, Dodge County, two hours south of Minneapolis.

Riess was spotted shortly afterwards at Diamond Jo Worth Casino in Northwood, Iowa, before she apparently made her way south to Florida.

Last Friday, authorities released surveillance video of Riess and Hutchinson laughing and joking together at the Smokin’ Oyster Brewery in Fort Myers.

“This stone-cold killer was smiling like anyone’s mother or grandmother when she approached our victim,” said Marceno.

Armed and Dangerous

Law enforcement believes Riess is driving Hutchinson’s car, a white Acura TL with Florida license plate Y37TAA. The vehicle has been spotted in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, and police believe she may still be somewhere in the Corpus Christi area.

“Detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of video, and traveled throughout the state and collected hundreds of items for forensic examination,” said Marceno.

Riess’ mode of operation is to befriend women who resemble her and steal their identity,” Marceno said. “US Marshals are actively involved in a national search for this dangerous fugitive.”

Police urge members of the public not to approach Riess if they spot her. She is considered armed and dangerous and there is a real concern she may kill again.