SWFL reacts to murder suspect Lois Riess’ arrest


More than 1,600 miles away from Fort Myers Beach, police on South Padre Island say they found accused killer Lois Riess hanging out with a couple of friends at a popular restaurant in Texas.

Riess was reportedly drinking and having a good time. She hadn’t changed her appearance and was seemingly living at large after stealing money from the two people she’s accused of killing.

After two weeks on the run, US Marshals finally got the tip they needed to find Riess. And how they found her says it all.

Riess apparently showed no remorse whatsoever when police arrested her.

Surveillance video captured Riess’ moves as she entered a restaurant—Dirty Al’s—on South Padre Island.

56-year-old Riess is now behind bars on South Padre Island in Texas.

“This case from the very beginning struck me as odd,” said Undersheriff Carmine Marceno.

He adds that it’s a case unlike any other.

“That’s a frightening thing for me, and let me tell you, that tells me a lot about her culpable state of mind, to go on with life as if nothing happened, go to dinner, travel to casinos,” he said. “That’s her thing, she likes to party, she likes to drink, gamble. It’s just what she does and it caught up to her.”

Lee County deputies are in Texas working with local and federal agencies to bring Riess back to SWFL. She could be facing a judge in Texas within the next 48 hours.

Below is the last photo of Riess before she was captured, according to Inside Edition.

Inside Edition

Inside Edition also talked to a restaurant owner who alerted authorities in Texas when he spotted Riess Thursday night. Watch the video below.


The days following Pamela Hutchinson’s murder on Fort Myers Beach are described by those working on the island as tense. It was also a time when Hutchinson’s suspected killer—Lois Riess—was still on the run.

“A little bit of a surprise on such a small island that some fugitive was such a big deal for a man hunt,” said Bill Freeman, the owner of Smokin Oyster Brewery.

At the Fort Myers Beach information center, Savannah Ohalloram says Riess may have stopped by her kiosk, blending in with other visitors.

“It’s alarming that there’s somebody that’s capable of doing such a heinous act,” she said.

She adds that the mood on the island shifted Friday, as the community learned of the fugitive’s capture.

“People were coming up to us and jumping up and down that Lois Riess got captured in Texas,” Ohalloram said.

Freeman—who’s restaurant Riess was spotted at—was also relieved she had been captured. He says he hopes it helps heal those wounded by Riess’ crimes.

“I’m happy,” Freeman said. “I’m sure it helps give the families of the victims closure.”

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
Melinda Lee