Riess homicide case referred to Minnesota AG Office

Published 10:00 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

After almost 11 months, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office announced that the David Riess homicide case in Dodge County has been referred to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for review.

David Riess was found dead on March 23, 2018, at his home in rural Blooming Prairie. His wife, Lois Riess, was suspected of the murder and became the subject of a nationwide manhunt that ended on April 19 with her arrest in Texas. She was then extradited to Florida, where she is currently in jail as a suspect in the April 9 murder of Pamela Hutchinson. Police believe Lois killed Hutchinson to assume her identity.

Lois Riess

Since then, Dodge County investigators have been at a stand-still on the case waiting for the alleged murder weapon, a handgun that was recovered in Lois Riess’ hotel room following her arrest in Texas, to be released by authorities in Florida for forensics testing in Minnesota.

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In October, Florida officials advised the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office that they were ready to release the handgun for the Minnesota case. On Oct. 17, a Dodge County investigator flew to Florida and took possession of the handgun. The handgun, a .22-caliber semi-automatic, was turned into the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) on Oct. 22 for forensic testing.

On Jan. 29, the BCA completed their testing and released the handgun back into the custody of Dodge County. The forensics report indicated the shell casings found at the scene of the David Riess homicide matched the handgun being tested.

The Dodge County Attorney’s Office then advised the Sheriff’s Office that the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office had offered to review the case for prosecution.

“We’ve had our case ready since shortly after Lois was arrested, however it was important to the integrity of the case to have the forensics completed on the alleged murder weapon before formally charging Mrs. Riess,” said Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose. “Once she was charged out in Florida, and we knew she wasn’t going to get released down there, it allowed us the opportunity to take the time needed to prepare our case and wait for forensics to ensure we have the strongest case possible against Mrs. Riess before charging her.”

Dodge County investigators submitted their complete report, including forensics, to the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office on Feb.13. Their office will also need to review the BCA’s case file and reports once they are submitted for charging considerations.