Accused killer arrested 1 year ago for Fort Myers Beach murder

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Mugshot of Lois Reiss. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Lois Reiss. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

One year ago, a murder left investigators chasing across the country for their suspect — Lois Reiss. Deputies say Reiss killed Pamela Hutchinson on Fort Myers Beach to steal her identity. It’s been one year since Reiss was arrested for the murder of Hutchinson and her husband in Minnesota.

On April 6, 2018, Surveillance video captured suspected killer Reiss leaving the scene of the crime on Fort Myers Beach and getting into Hutchinson’s car.

“We were going for a walk and then we saw all the vehicles over here, the cop cars, investigators,” Pam Jones said. “It was wild.”

Chaos unfolded on Fort Myers Beach three days after Hutchinson was killed when a property manager found her dead body on a bathroom floor. Hutchinson was 59 years old. Her relatives told us she was in town to help a close friend.

“She loved, loved fishing, boating,” Ellen, Hutchinson’s relative, told us. “She loved the beach. She decided to stay an extra night, and that was to her demise unfortunately.”

Reiss is also accused of killing her husband back in Dodge County Minnesota.

Investigators believe Reiss befriended Hutchinson because they looked alike. Reiss then used Hutchinson’s money and credit cards at hotels.

U.S. Marshals eventually caught up with Reiss and arrested her on South Padre Island in Texas two weeks later in 2018.

Reiss faces first-degree murder charges, which is punishable by the death penalty.

Hutchinson’s family told us they hope for justice.

MORE: Complete Coverage: Lois Reiss Trial  

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