Possible mental health issues could complicate Lois Riess murder case

Published: Updated:
WINK News / Riess listens in from the Lee County Jail to the events taking place inside the courtroom.

Accused Fort Myers Beach killer Lois Riess, 56, was booked into the Lee County Jail Saturday night after being extradited from Texas where she was caught by federal agents.

During her first court appearance Sunday morning, the Lee County judge held Riess without bail. A pre-trial detention hearing will be within the next five days.

Riess is accused of killing Pamela Hitchinson, a woman she befriended in a bar on Fort Myers Beach, according to authorities.

State Attorney’s office told a judge today that the Texas authorities claim Riess has a psychosis and refused to take medications.

WINK News / A view from inside the courtroom

MORE: Accused killer Lois Riess heads back to FL to face murder charges

Riess had been on the run for two weeks after allegedly killing her husband in Minnesota and then traveling to Fort Myers Beach and killing a woman vacationing on the island.

Riess then fled to Texas where she was eventually captured.

MORE: Video shows moment accused Killer Lois Riess is arrested

Having waived her right to an extradition hearing, Lois Ann Riess was extradited to Southwest Florida and is in the custody of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Riess is currently held at the Lee County Jail awaiting trial.

WINK News / Riess listens in from the Lee County Jail to the events taking place inside the courtroom.

MORE: SWFL reacts to Lois Riess’ arrest

Riess faces the following charges:

  • Homicide (without premeditation)
  • Grand theft of motor vehicle
  • Larceny grand theft (less than $5,000)
  • Fraud

Riess arrest report says she arrived at the jail at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

Her court date is set for May 29 at 8:30 a.m.


Riess withdrew $11,000 after allegedly killing her husband in Minnesota.

Traveled from Dodge County to Dubuque, Iowa (Diamond Jo Casino)

Actions unaccounted for between her journey from Iowa to Fort Myers Beach.

April 5: Seen at Smokin’ Oyster Brewery with Pamela Hutchinson

April 5-6: Pamela Hutchinson was killed in her Fort Myers Beach condo.

April 6: Riess walked inside a Wells Fargo Bank on Fort Myers Beach and withdrew $5,000 from Hutchinson’s account face to face with a teller, providing Hutchinson’s ID and credit card.

April 6-7: Riess checked into a Hilton in Ocala using Pamela’s ID, credit card, and signed her name. Stayed one night, left the next day.

April 7: Went to a bank in Ocala, withdrew $500 from Hutchinson’s account.

April 8: Hutchinson’s car spotted in Louisiana. Riess tried to get cash out at gas station – attempted to make a purchase and get $200, but transaction was declined.

April 8: Hutchinson’s car spotted driving through Refugio, Texas.

April 9: Lee County sheriff’s deputies called to a suspicious vehicle. Reiss’ Escalade found abandoned at Bowditch Point Park on Fort Myers Beach. Car registration records linked it to a match to someone wanted in Minnesota.

HOURS later: LCSO called to Marina Village for death investigation, found Pamela’s body.

April 19: Riess was captured by authorities on South Padre Island, Texas.

April 21: Riess has first court appearance in Texas.

April 22-27: Riess is transported from Texas to Florida

April 28: Lois Riess is booked into the Lee County Jail

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.