Local couple says Lois Riess ‘came to Fort Myers Beach because of us’

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Mugshot of Lois Reiss courtesy of South Padre Island Police Department.

A new timeline of events released by investigators reveals where accused killer Lois Riess went and what she did during her time on Fort Myers Beach.

Pamela Hutchinson’s body was found inside a FMB hotel room earlier this month, and Riess was arrested and now faces charges of killing her.

MORE: Accused killer Lois Riess denied bond during first court appearance

New details about how authorities discovered the body reveal that a towel was draped over her with a pillow underneath.

The body was found locked inside the master bathroom in room 404 at the Marina Village Condos on April 9 with a towel shoved into the crack under the door, presumably to cover up the smells of decomposition.

That was at least four days after investigators say Hutchinson was last seen alive.

The report goes into further detail starting from the morning of April 6.

On that morning, a condo employee says she got a phone call from a woman she thought was Hutchinson asking to extend her stay for another three days.

The employee told detectives she wasn’t sure if the woman she spoke to was really Hutchinson or not.

MORE: Video shows moment when accused killer Lois Riess is arrested

Surveillance cameras caught Riess walking to and from the room 11 times that morning, carrying out garbage bags, luggage and a tote bag.

Later that afternoon, Riess is seen driving away in a white Escalade, one investigators believe she drove to Florida from Minnesota.

After that, she comes back 45 minutes later. Court documents say “the time frame is consistent with Lois having enough time to drive her vehicle to Bodwitch Park” where it was found on April 9. Riess is presumed to have walked back to the building afterward.

The documents also say that while there’s no record of Riess renting or owning a condo at Marina Village, there was evidence someone was staying in Hutchinson’s guest room.

Detectives say a pillow from that room was the one found underneath Hutchinson’s body with a bullet hole and soot residue found on it.

MORE: SWFL reacts to murder suspect Lois Riess’ arrest in Texas

And now, another new piece to the puzzle has been added.

“So I was working on the garage…at 1:45 this pearl-colored SUV pulls up behind my vehicles. Gal gets out, walks around. She has platinum, almost white hair in a pony tail,” said Tess Koster.

Koster says she goes back years with Lois and Dave Riess. They’re from the same town in Minnesota. At one point, Koster invited the couple down to her condo on Fort Myers Beach where she and her husband spent the winters.

In the days after Dave Riess’ death, Koster heard the news that Lois was wanted for murder.

“She looked at me as I stepped forward and said “can I help you?” And our eyes met, and I just—oh my goodness, my heart skipped a beat. It was Lois! I’m like “Lois Riess is in my driveway!” Koster said.

That was on April 2, about 10 days after Riess’ husband was found dead in Minnesota.

“She came to Fort Myers Beach because of us,” Koster said.

Koster says she was scared and called deputies, but says they were unable to locate Riess at the time.

“You know how you have an intuition that someone is watching you? I just felt like she was close by. And now in hearing reports and seeing surveillance videos, she was!” Koster said.

A week after the interaction, Hutchinson was found dead on Fort Myers Beach. Four days after that, a nation-wide manhunt for Riess began.

And many are now breathing a sigh of relief knowing that she’s behind bars.

“I’m just glad that she’s caught,” Darlene Probus said. “And we’re safe right now, or at least we feel a lot safer now.”

Koster says she called deputies on April 2, but the first time the sheriff’s office alerted the public was on April 13. WINK News has asked for records of that April 2 call, and why it took so long for authorities to alert the public.

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