Court document reveals how Lois Riess befriended, likely killed Florida woman

The details are frightening.
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Lois Riess

Criminal charges against Minnesota native Lois Riess detail how she is believed to have befriended and murdered a Florida woman in early April..

Investigators in Lee County, Florida, suspect Riess of killing 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, before stealing her identity and vehicle. 

Hutchinson's body was found on April 9, possibly 3-4 days after dying from gunshot wounds to the torso and back. Accused is Riess, who had fled to Florida after allegedly killing her husband, David Riess, weeks earlier.

Pre-trial court documents filed in Florida revealed Hutchinson was found in the bathroom of her hotel room at Marina Village, in Fort Myers, with a towel over her body and a pillow, possibly used to muffle the gunshots, beneath her.

A towel was also stuffed into the door's crease near the floor, likely an attempt to block the smell from Hutchinson's decomposing body. 

The court documents say it's similar to how David Riess was found dead in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota in late March. 


Lois Riess booked into Florida jail on murder, theft charges

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The timeline around Hutchinson's death

The court documents reveal that Hutchinson arrived at the hotel complex on Apr. 3, before meeting Riess a day later.

They were observed walking together to Hutchinson's room on the evening of Apr. 4, and were seen by witnesses on several occasions over the next 24 hours.

On Apr. 5, surveillance footage showed them eating and drinking together at Smoking Oyster Brewery in Ft. Myers, before walking back to Hutchinson's room at 7:46 p.m.

It was the last time Hutchinson was seen alive. 

Lois Riess

Lois Riess, talking to Hutchinson, at the Smoking Oyster Brewery.

Forty-eight minutes later Riess was seen on hotel video walking down a hallway and then standing alone at the elevator for 13 minutes, appearing distraught and possibly crying. She then walked back to the room. 

The next morning, investigators suspect Riess of posing as Hutchinson in a call to the front desk, saying she enjoyed her time so much that she wanted to reserve the room for three more days. 

Riess then drove her Cadillac Escalade a mile away and stashed it before likely walking back to the hotel, stealing Hutchinson's Acura and driving 230 miles north where she used Hutchinson's identity and credit card to check into the Hilton Hotel in Ocala, Florida. 

It's there that Riess used Hutchinson's funds to order a movie and two rounds of room service. 

Hutchinson's body was found on Apr. 9, by which time Riess is believed to have made it to Texas, where she was ultimately caught 10 days later on South Padre Island.

Riess was extradited to Florida where she faces charges of 2nd degree murder, grand theft auto, and felony identity theft.

She is expected to be extradited to Minnesota to answer probable charges over her husband's death after her trial in Florida is wrapped up.

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