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Blooming Prairie residents remain tight-lipped about Riess case

BLOOMING PRAIRIE, Minn. (KTTC) —  David Riess was murdered in his Blooming Prairie home in March 2018, a small town crime that eventually led to a nation-wide manhunt.

His wife, 56-year-old Lois Riess, remains the only suspect in his death. About two miles down the road from the crime scene is the Steele County Times, a newspaper that was first media outlet to cover the tragedy.

Rick Bussler is the publisher for the Steele County Times

“Everybody’s been tight-lipped, and they don’t want to say a whole lot,” said publisher Rick Bussler, who helped cover the Riess case for the Steele County Times

In the months since David’s death, the townspeople of Blooming Prairie have chosen to stay quiet when it comes to the media. “It’s been challenging to say the least,” added Bussler. “People in town wanted to keep it under wraps… speaking among themselves, but coming to the media was a whole different story.”

The murder was the first in the small town in nearly 30 years. “People just aren’t used to it, and I think that’s a big part of why they might not know what to say or how to react to it.”

KTTC spoke with about a dozen businesses in Blooming Prairie on Thursday; none wanted to talk with us on-camera. But some business owners did tell KTTC they either felt guilty about what happened or didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes in town who may have been friends with the Riess’s.

“People are getting back to normal and not forgetting that it happened, but they’re going about daily lives and life does go on.”

David Riess was killed in his Blooming Prairie home last March. His wife, Lois Riess, is the only suspect.

Since Lois Riess’s arrest in South Padre, Texas last April, she’s being held in a Lee County, Florida jail without bond. In addition to her husband, Riess allegedly killed a second person, 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson, in Fort Myers Beach. Investigators believe Riess wanted to assume Hutchinson’s identity. Riess was indicted on multiple charges including first-degree murder; charges she denies.

The case against Lois Riess in Minnesota is being transferred to the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. That’s because investigators were able to prove the gun found in her South Padre, Texas hotel room matched shell casings found at the crime scene in Blooming Prairie.

Shannon Rousseau

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