Search for Lois Riess turns to Florida — unofficially

Published 8:37 am Thursday, April 12, 2018

By Jeffrey Jackson

Owatonna People’s Press, via The Associated Press

BLOOMING PRAIRIE — U.S. Marshals in Florida have joined the search for Lois Riess, the rural Blooming Prairie woman who is being sought as a “person of interest” in the slaying of her husband, a spokesperson for the Marshals Office in Fort Myers confirmed Tuesday.

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“We are actively investigating into her possible whereabouts,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal John Kinsey of the Fort Myers office.

Kinsey was quick to point out, however, that the involvement of the marshals in Florida came as an unofficial rather than official word — something which he likened to a “courtesy call” where the agents in Florida were told by marshals in Minnesota of the search for Lois Riess and were further asked to watch for her in or around the Fort Myers area.

Riess, 56, has remained elusive since her husband was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in their rural Blooming Prairie home, just over the Dodge County line, nearly three weeks ago.

The search for Riess began March 23, a Friday, after Blooming Prairie Police were summoned to the land on which sits both the house she shared with her husband, David Riess, 54, and the business he operated, Prairie Wax Worm Farms. There police found the body of David Riess, which, according to a medical examiner’s report, had been there since Wednesday, March 21.

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office took over the investigation with help from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Since that time, the U.S. Marshals from the District of Minnesota have joined the search, as have agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. As of Monday, the marshals in Florida have joined as well, at least, for the time, on an unofficial basis.

Kinsey declined to say where the marshals in Florida were looking, saying it was and is still an “active investigation.”

He did indicate that marshals were aware of Lois Riess’ tendency to frequent casinos — a detail discussed in several statements released by investigators as well as other court documents. Kinsey also said marshals have checked out some of the casinos nearby.

“We’ve gone that route,” he said.

In the meantime, the family of David Riess prepares to hold a memorial service and celebration of his life from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Eagles Club in Rochester. Members of the Riess family declined comment.

Lois Riess is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds with brown eyes and blond hair.

Law enforcement say she likely is driving a white 2005 Cadillac Escalade SUV with Minnesota license plate 864 LAE. The vehicle is registered to David Riess.

She is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with knowledge about this investigation or about the whereabouts of Lois Riess is asked to contact the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office at (507) 635-6200.

As for Lois Riess, Kinsey is confident that she will be captured. It’s just a matter of time.

“Once the marshals get ahold of it, she will get caught,” Kinsey said. “She can run all she wants. She’ll just go to jail tired.”