Friend of woman murdered on FMB speaks out about Lois Riess

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The friend of a woman killed on Fort Myers Beach spoke out about what Lois Riess’ personality must’ve been like to earn the trust of those she encountered.

Barbara Pauls only knew 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, of Bradenton, for a few months before she was befriended by accused murderer Lois Riess.

Detectives said Riess murdered Hutchinson in April because they looked alike, then stole her white Acura, credit cards and her identity. Riess is also accused of killing her husband in Minnesota.

“I don’t know, she [Riess] may have had a very friendly personality,” Pauls said.

For a woman on the run, Riess wasn’t acting like one. She spent most of her journey across the country making stops at casinos.

Documents from the State Attorney’s Office show Riess made plenty of friends, including two men on vacation in South Padre Island, Texas. She exchanged phone numbers with them and met for dinner several times.

One of the men even texted Riess and said, “I would love to see you.”

“When you’re traveling alone, it’s pretty easy to strike up a conversation with someone around you, but that doesn’t mean you’re inviting them to your room, or condo or timeshare,” Pauls said.

Text messages also revealed Riess potentially courted another victim while on the run in Texas — a woman named Bernadette.

Riess shared two meals and even a hot tub with Bernadette, according to documents.

More: Woman recounts meeting accused killer Lois Riess: ‘I thought she was a new best friend’

Now, Pauls said she is moving forward with her life but will not leave Hutchinson behind.

“I don’t wanna forget Pam, she was a neat neat girl,” Pauls said.

Riess faces charges of first-degree murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification information of a deceased individual.

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