FORT MYERS, Florida (NBC) — A nationwide search was underway Monday for a grandmother accused of murder in two states — who police said befriended a look-alike to steal her identity.
Lois Riess, a 56-year-old mother of three adult children and at least one grandchild, had a history of gambling problems, according to police.
"She smiles and looks like anyone’s mother or grandmother," Lee County Undersheriff Carmine Marceno told NBC on Sunday night. "And yet she’s calculated, she’s targeted and an absolute cold-blooded killer."
Riess, described as a 5-foot-5, 165-pound woman with brown eyes and blonde hair, was already accused of fatally shooting her husband, David, in Minnesota last month — then going on the run across the country. Police say she eventually ended up in Fort Myers, in Lee County on Florida's Gulf Coast, where she found Pamela Hutchinson, 59.
The two, seen together at a Fort Myers Beach restaurant, became friends.
"This stone-cold killer was smiling like anyone’s mother or grandmother when she approached our victim,” Marceno said.
But authorities said Riess had an ulterior motive — planning all along to steal Hutchinson’s identity because the two women looked so similar.
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