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Search for 'Smiling Grandma' murder suspect gets 'major case' status

$6,000 is being offered for information leading to her arrest.

Suspected Minnesota killer Lois Reiss, known nationally as the "Smiling Grandma," remains on the loose and the U.S. Marshals Service is now offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.

The 56-year-old Riess has been on the run for weeks, and is the suspect in the killing of her husband David at their home at the Blooming Prairie Wax Worm Farm in southeast Minnesota on Mar. 23.

The grandmother fled to Florida, where she is suspected of murdering Pamela Hutchinson, 59, of Bradenton, in an attempt to steal her identity.

On Tuesday, the USMS made their pursuit of Riess a "Major Case," a level just below "Most Wanted" status.

Here's how the USMS defines a Major Case:

"Much like the 15 Most Wanted Fugitive Program, the Major Case Fugitive Program prioritizes the investigation and apprehension of high-profile offenders who are considered to be some of the country’s most dangerous individuals. These offenders tend to be career criminals with histories of violence or whose instant offense(s) pose a significant threat to public safety." 

The USMS is offering $5,000 for information leading solely to the arrest of Riess – not even requiring a conviction – with Florida Crime Stoppers kicking in a further $1,000.


– Lois Riess laughs with the woman she's suspected of murdering.

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Riess was spotted on surveillance footage smiling and laughing with Hutchinson at a bar, possibly killing her a short time later with the same gun used in the murder of her husband. 

She was last seen driving Hutchinson's white Acura, license plate Y37TAA, with possible sightings in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas.

She is considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call 911 or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Tip-line at 1-877-996-6222.

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