Authorities are searching for a Minnesota grandmother accused of killing her husband and then traveling to Florida to allegedly kill a woman who looked like her so she could steal the victim’s identity, PEOPLE confirms.
According to statements from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, Lois Ann Riess, 56, is wanted for two homicides.
Riess allegedly killed her 54-year-old husband, David Riess, whose body was found inside their Blooming Prairie home riddled with bullet wounds, on March 23.
Riess is also the sole suspect in the killing of Pamela Hutchinson, 59, who was discovered dead inside a hotel in Fort Myers Beach.
According to investigators, Riess struck up a friendship with Hutchinson specifically because the victim looked like her.
“Riess’ mode of operation is to befriend women who look like her and steal their identity,” Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno said at a press conference Friday.
Detectives allege Riess fatally shot Hutchison before stealing her identity; the victim’s purse was found in her hotel room in disarray, with her car keys missing.
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Police are not sure when Hutchinson was killed, but her body was found April 6.
Riess allegedly used the same gun to commit both murders, according to the statements.
Lois Riess as seen in surveillance footage
Florida officials say Riess is wanted for murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and identity fraud. In Minnesota, she is wanted for murder.
Riess was allegedly spotted in surveillance footage in several states as she fled, making her way south.
Police allege Riess transferred nearly $10,000 from her husband’s business account into his personal account, and then wrote herself three checks for $11,000.
Riess is armed and dangerous, police allege, and was last seen in Corpus Christi, Texas, about three hours from the Mexican border.
Investigators allege Riess — who stands 5 feet 5 inches and weighs 164 lbs. — fled in Hutchinson’s white 2005 Acura TL, bearing license tag #Y37TAA.
Riess has brown eyes and light blonde hair, but may have changed her appearance to facilitate her alleged flight.
If spotted, Riess should not be approached. Instead, call 911 or 800-780-8477.