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'Cold-Blooded Killer' Grandma Captured After Nationwide Manhunt

The 56-year-old was caught in Texas near the Mexico border, enjoying a drink.
April 20, 2018, 2:17pm
Mugshot of Lois Riess courtesy of South Padre Island Police Department

Lois Riess, the 56-year-old gambling grandmother wanted in connection with the murder of her husband and doppelgänger, was said to be "cool as a cucumber" Thursday night when US Marshals finally caught up with her in Texas, the Washington Post reports.

A nationwide manhunt ensued after Riess was deemed a person of interest in the shooting death of her husband in her hometown of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, allegedly stealing his money to go gambling in Iowa before befriending a woman in Florida who looked like her. That woman, Pamela Hutchinson, was then murdered in what police believe was an attempt by Riess to steal her identity. On Thursday, Marshals tracked Riess down to a restaurant near the Texas-Mexico border where she was, well, acting pretty normal, enjoying a drink at a local bar.

"I promised all along that Lois Riess would end up in a pair of handcuffs," Undersheriff Carmine Marceno of Lee County, Florida, said in a statement. "Tonight, she sits in a jail cell in Texas. We are working as expeditiously as possible to bring her back to Lee County to face murder charges."

Cops believe Riess used the same gun to shoot her husband that she did to kill 59-year-old Hutchinson. They found Hutchinson dead in her Fort Meyers apartment days after she was spotted on surveillance video chatting and dining with Riess at a local bar, and later near her condo. Police said Hutchinson's purse had been ransacked, her ID taken, and her car stolen when they found her body. When the feds arrested Riess in Texas, Hutchinson's car was tracked down in the restaurant's parking lot.

"She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother," Marceno told NBC News. "And yet she’s calculated, she's targeted, and an absolute cold-blooded killer."

According to the Post, Riess, an avid gambler known in her hometown as "Losing Streak Lois," is facing possible charges of second-degree murder, grand theft, grand theft of a vehicle, and criminal use of personal identification.

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