A North Dakota woman is facing a murder charge after a fatal attempt to up her coins! Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, is accused of poisoning her 51-year-old boyfriend to access his pending inheritance money.
According to the Minot Police Department, Thea’s former partner, Steven Edward Riley Jr., died on Sept. 5. Emergency personnel arrived at their shared home in Minot, ND, on Sept. 4 and found Steven unresponsive, per an officer’s affidavit. EMTs transported the 51-year-old to a local hospital before a transfer to a Bismarck hospital, where he passed away.
As for Thea, she told cops in an initial interview that Steven had suffered a heat stroke, per The New York Times. However, an autopsy report listed her ex-boyfriend’s cause of death as “poisoning” from ethylene glycol. The substance is reportedly the main ingredient in antifreeze.
Steven’s Family & Friends Speak On The Antifreeze & Inheritance
Following Steven’s death, local investigators spoke to her ex’s relatives and friends. Their investigation uncovered allegations that Ina had suggested using antifreeze to poison Steven before and after his death.
Not only that, her friend reportedly told officials she saw Thea dumping Steven’s belongings outside their home on Sept. 4. Her friend alleged that she was upset about Riley’s alleged plans after receiving his inheritance.
At the time of his death, Steven was set to inherit a $30 million payout. Investigators say Steven planned to leave Thea after claiming his money. He had finalized the details of receipt with an attorney on Sept. 3 at an airport. This was the same day he suddenly got sick while in the company of Thea and friends.
“Witness stated they wanted to obtain medical treatment for John Doe, but Ina Thea Kenoyer was adamant that John Doe was suffering from heat stroke and just needed to go home and rest after the airport,” a police affidavit reportedly states.
The former couple had been together for ten years before the alleged poisoning. So, after his death, Thea told police she was entitled to his inheritance as his “common law” wife.
However, authorities informed her that North Dakota does not recognize common-law marriages — meaning long-term unions without the legal marriage process. Thea allegedly responded by becoming “incensed” or “enraged.”
“Police believe that Riley’s girlfriend, Ina Thea Kenoyer, had financial motives to murder Riley,” the PD’s press release states.
Minot Police arrested her on Oct. 30. She faces one Class AA felony murder charge and is being held at Minot’s Ward County Detention Center, per PEOPLE.
What Police Found In The Former Couple’s Home
Meanwhile, a police search of the former couple’s home revealed a Windex window cleaner bottle with green liquid — presumably antifreeze. Cops located the bottle in the living room area and an antifreeze-contaminated Coors Light bottle and plastic mug in the garage.
When police questioned her, Thea insisted her boyfriend might’ve accidentally ingested the antifreeze. She also continued to harp on her heat stroke explanation.
Thea is the last non-medical person to be seen with Steven before he passed. There is no additional public information about Steven’s pending inheritance.
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