The family of Lois Riess, the grandma accused of killing her husband and a woman who resembled her, is speaking out for the first time, telling Inside Edition exclusively that he believes his mother "snapped."
“She literally snapped," said her youngest son, Braden Riess. "My whole family is in shock. Nobody ever suspected anything like this. It has devastated our family.
Lois Riess was captured after five weeks on the run in a case that captivated the nation. She is also accused of murdering her husband David, Braden’s dad, in Minnesota in March before heading to Florida where she befriended a woman who looked like her.
Braden Riess, 30, told Inside Edition he could never imagine his mother would do any harm to his father. When he found out, he said he was “shocked.”
“I'm still shocked!" he said. "It's a bad movie. I feel like I’m going to wake up and it's going to be back to normal, but it's not."
He says his mother and father were close and loving.
“She was caring," he said. "Always put herself second and us kids first."
He blames a gambling addiction for her downward spiral and revealed that she blew a $500,000 inheritance at casinos.
"Gambling is a terrible thing where it can suck people in and destroy lives," he said.
He says he didn’t know how much his mom gambled in a night, adding, "It was all secrecy."
He followed the hunt for his mom on television and was stunned by surveillance images that showed her befriending 59-year-old lookalike Pamela Hutchinson, the woman that his mother allegedly murdered before stealing her identify.
Braden looked at the surveillance videos and noticed a change in his mom.
"Her mannerisms were all different," he said. "She was a totally different person. Her demeanor — everything — the way she moved like a robot or something."
He said the hardest thing he had to see was video of her cornered in a restaurant on South Padre Island, Texas, and in a prison uniform.
“I just felt really bad for my mom," he said. "I just felt like she was alone and desperate."
Braden says his father still hasn't been buried, since authorities have not yet released his remains.
As he grieves for his shattered family, he says he can't stop loving his mom
He says he has not been able to talk to her and if he could talk to her, he would "just tell her I love her."
Lois Riess was extradited from Texas to Florida where she awaits her next court appearance.