FORT MYERS, Fla. - Minnesotan Lois Riess now faces the death penalty in her Florida first-degree murder case.

Prosecutors said they’re seeking the death penalty for the southeast Minnesota woman who’s accused of killing her husband at their worm farm near Blooming Prairie and then a woman visiting Fort Myers Beach in southern Florida before leading authorities on a cross-country manhunt, according to the Fort Myers News-Bulletin.

She was labeled a “grandma killer” during the manhunt because she looked like she could be anyone’s grandmother.

Lee County, Fla., prosecutors filed a notice of intent Monday, July 1, to seek the death penalty against the 56-year-old after a grand jury indicted her last month on a first-degree murder charge. If not put to death, Riess faces life in prison if convicted.

Court documents allege she shot her husband, David, to death in late March. Authorities said Riess then went to Fort Myers and met Pamela Hutchinson. Investigators believe Riess fatally shot the 59-year-old Hutchinson on April 9 to assume her identity.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Ten days later, on April 19, Riess was captured at a South Padre Island, Texas, restaurant and returned to Florida to face charges there first.

No charges have been filed in Minnesota. Riess is being held in the Lee County Jail with no bond. Her next court appearance is July 11.