Family, friends of Pamela Hutchinson say they felt some sense of justice as killer pleaded guilty

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Pamela Hutchinson, 59, was a victim of murder on Fort Myers Beach.

Pamela Hutchinson’s family and friends say they are thankful it’s almost over after her killer, Lois Riess, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning.

The two women didn’t know each other at all, so her death was sudden and the court case, slow and painful.

Riess will spend life in prison, but Hutchinson’s loved ones will still spend the rest of their lives without her. “Something I don’t think I’ll ever get over…I had talked to her two hours before she was killed,” said Hutchinson’s friend, Jane Wingfield.

The two met at just 12 years old and texted during her trip to Fort Myers Beach.

“She was like my sister and I’m still having a hard time, but I’m so glad they caught her,” she said.

Wingfield wants Riess to face the death penalty for what she did, but Tuesday’s guilty plea gave her some peace.

“I have the grace or whatever of knowing that she’s admitted it. But it still doesn’t warrant losing your best friend, or any human life,” she said.

A life John Dwyer says his cousin Pamela lived with open arms.

“She was just a good person and her goodness cost her her life,” said Dwyer.

He said as long as Riess stays behind bars, his family will at least have some sense of justice.

“The uncertainty of what was gonna happen was not…a good thing,” he said.

One thing her family said was that Hutchinson was doing a good deed: she was helping spread the ashes of a friend’s husband.

That kind spirit is how they want Hutchinson to be remembered.

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