Fugitive Grandma Accused of Killing Husband, Lookalike Is Arrested

The search for fugitive 56-year-old grandmother Lois Riess ended last night in South Texas with her arrest at a restaurant on South Padre Island.

Police officials in Minnesota — where she is alleged to have killed her husband last month before going on the run — confirm to PEOPLE that Riess is in custody.

Riess was tracked down by the U.S. Marshal’s Service with the assistance of South Padre Island police, PEOPLE learns.

Riess is accused of killing her husband and then traveling to Florida, where she allegedly killed a woman who looked like her so she could steal the victim’s identity.

On March 23, investigators found the body of her 54-year-old husband, David Riess, inside their Blooming Prairie home riddled with bullet wounds.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Riess allegedly fled to Florida, making stops at casinos along the way before killing Pamela Hutchinson, 59, who was discovered dead inside a hotel in Fort Myers Beach, according to previous statements from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

From left: Pamela Hutchinson, Lois Riess

From left: Pamela Hutchinson, Lois Riess

Pamela Hutchinson/Facebook; Dodge County Sheriff MN/Facebook

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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 last Friday.

Lois Riess

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.

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.

Riess has not entered a plea and does not have an attorney at this time.

Authorities said they would be releasing more details about the arrest later Friday.

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