Thea Kenoyer, 47, of Minot was charged with class AA felony murder on Tuesday, according to a news statement from the Minot Police Department. She is suspected of killing her 51-year-old companion Steven Edward Riley Jr. last month. Riley was moved from Trinity Hospital to a hospital in Bismarck, where he passed away on September 5, 2023.
According to a news release sent to the Minot Police Department’s Facebook page, Kenoyer was brought into jail on Monday and charged with class AA felony murder. If found guilty, a class AA felony in North Dakota carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Riley was poisoned by ethylene glycol, the primary element in antifreeze, according to reports from the autopsy, which determined that poisoning was the cause of his death. Riley was sent from a nearby hospital in Minot to a hospital in Bismarck, where he passed away on September 5.
“Kenoyer “had financial motives to murder Riley,” according to the police. Kenoyer is being detained in Minot at the Ward County Jail.
Riley’s friends told police that, Kenoyer believed Riley was going to receive more than $30 million, the affidavit said. Records from the Minot Police Department state that Mr. Riley fell unwell following his September meeting with a lawyer to obtain the inheritance.
” However, the affidavit stated that Kenoyer “was adamant” that he was suffering from heat stroke and only wanted to go home and relax when his companion advised him to seek medical attention, as reported by the investigation team.
Riley had a toxicology report that showed he had no alcohol in his blood when he passed away, despite Kenoyer’s claims to the police that Riley had been drinking excessively and had heat stroke. Additionally discovered by authorities during their search of the couple’s residence were bottles of Windex window cleaner, Coors Light beer, and a plastic cup that may have contained antifreeze.
She informed the detectives that she and Riley had dated for ten years. But Kenoyer was “incensed” when investigators informed her that North Dakota does not recognize these kinds of common law marriages.
Kenoyer may spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty of the state’s most serious murder accusation, class AA felony murder.
The Minot Police Department’s investigations commander, Capt. Dale Plessas, stated in a statement that “this case was extremely complex.” “Thank you to everyone who provided us with information that helped our investigators piece this together.