April 13, 2018 08:17 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- Federal and local officials in multiple states are joining the search for 56-year-old Lois Riess, who is accused of murdering her husband at their rural Dodge County home last month before fleeing the state.
Friday, officials in Lee County, Florida, charged Riess with murder, grand theft auto and criminal use of personal identification in connection with the shooting death of 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson earlier this week. Riess is believed to have used the same gun to kill both her husband and Hutchinson.
Officials believe Riess targeted Hutchinson due to their similar appearance in order to assume Hutchinson's identity. Investigators aren't sure of any connection between the two women beside their similar appearance.
After killing Hutchinson, police believe Riess stole the woman's white 2005 Acura TL with Florida license plate Y37TAA and fled the state. The vehicle has been seen in Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas, in the days following Hutchinson's murder.
"Our detectives have reviewed hundreds of hours of video, traveled throughout the state, collected hundreds of items for forensic examination in a coordinated effort with our state and federal agencies," Undersheriff Carmine Marceno with the Lee County Sheriff's Office said at a news conference Friday.
On March 23, deputies found Riess' 54-year-old husband David dead at their home near Blooming Prairie. Lois Riess is believed to have taken $10,000 from her husband's business bank account before fleeing.
Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said law enforcement agencies from the Midwest and the South have worked together to follow leads. At one point in the search, Rose said they learned she might be at the Diamond Jo Casino near Northwood. When officers from the sheriff's office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arrived, they determined Riess had left.
Rose said the county attorney's office is preparing second-degree murder charges against Riess in connection with her husband's death. He expects them to be filed in the next few days.
Riess is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
A tip line has been set up for anyone with information about either murder or Riess' current whereabouts. Callers can remain anonymous. The number is 877-996-6222.
Created: April 13, 2018 08:17 PM
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