June 19, 2018 10:55 PM
(ABC 6 News) – We are learning much more about the murder investigation involving Blooming Prairie resident Lois Riess.
The State Attorney’s Office in Lee County Florida has released hundreds of pages of a Procedural Case Update including details on the discovery of Pamela Hutchinson’s body to when Riess was arrested in San Padre Island, Texas.
According to the documents, Riess befriended Hutchinson several days before her body was found lying on the bathroom floor of the hotel room she was renting.
The medical examiner says Hutchinson was,” shot with a small caliber round bearing similar characteristics to a .22 caliber bullet and then draped with a towel.”
Riess is also suspected of killing her husband David. Authorities say he was killed in the bathroom of their home in Blooming Prairie with a .22 caliber handgun and a blanket was placed over his head. Authorities went as far as to say the modus operandi in both cases were “strikingly similar.”
When authorities arrested Riess, they say they discovered two guns, including a .22 caliber, along with ammunition, duct tape, rubber gloves, Hutchinson’s checkbook and her credit cards.
Documents also identify Riess as the person who withdrew $5,000 from Hutchinson’s account at a Wells Fargo in Fort Myers Beach and then used Hutchinson’s ATM card to make three other withdrawals in the amount of $500 each.
The documents also indicate Riess visited the home of another Blooming Prairie resident who lives in Fort Myers Beach a portion of the year. The visit took place a week before Riess allegedly killed Hutchinson and stole her car.
Therese Koster says she saw a woman walking around the edge of her property in Florida, looking at her vehicles. When she confronted the woman she said she immediately recognized Riess because they had known each other for at least 15 years.
After locking eyes, Koster says Riess put her head down and replied, “wrong house,” before getting back into her vehicle and leaving. She also told authorities she knew Riess was a suspect in her husband’s death.
Afterward, Koster called her daughter and told her what had happened. The daughter said earlier that same day, she had received a phone call from someone named "Stormy Liberty." The person said she was friends with her mother and asked for her address in Fort Myers Beach so she could visit.
Koster's daughter gave the woman her address, saying it was normal for her mother’s friends from Blooming Prairie to visit her in Florida.
The name "Stormy Liberty" was later linked to Riess as an alias she used to open a cell phone account.
According to the documents, Riess also befriended a woman in San Padre Island, Texas shortly after Hutchinson’s death and just a few days before her arrest. Riess even slept in the woman's guest bedroom. However, the woman said Riess appeared “completely normal."
Riess was extradited to Florida after her arrest in Texas.
Earlier in June, she was indicted in Florida for First Degree Murder With A Firearm. She has pleaded not guilty.
Charges in Minnesota are pending.
Updated: June 19, 2018 10:55 PM
Created: June 19, 2018 02:14 PM
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