A North Dakota woman is in jail on charges that she poisoned her boyfriend, who had just inherited $30 million.
After reportedly killing 51-year-old Steven Edward Riley Jr., a 47-year-old Minot resident, Ina Thea Kenoyer, was charged with murder on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Minot Police Department. After being transported from Trinity Hospital, Riley passed away on September 5, 2023, at a hospital in Bismarck.
Ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze, was Riley’s cause of death, as his autopsy revealed.
An affidavit from Riley’s family members said Kenoyer had discussed poisoning Riley with antifreeze both before and after his death. An affidavit was filed by a friend of Kenoyer’s who claimed to have seen her discard Riley’s belongings outside their home on the day he first started feeling ill.
Riley and Kenoyer’s ten-year relationship had been tense, with Riley allegedly planning to leave Kenoyer after receiving an inheritance of roughly $30 million.
After Riley’s passing, Kenoyer claimed to authorities that, as the “common law” wife, she was entitled to a portion of the $30 million estate.
According to the affidavit, Kenoyer was “incensed” when investigators told her North Dakota did not recognize her as the common law wife. Kenoyer also allegedly claimed that Riley had been drinking and suffered heat stroke, despite the autopsy report stating that Riley died of poisoning and that alcohol was not present in his system.
Meanwhile, a window cleaner spray bottle container with liquid thought to be antifreeze was located in the living room.
On September 3, Riley became ill and complained of stomach ache while on his way to collect the inheritance. The next day, September 5, he died in the hospital.
According to the North Dakota Century Code, Kenoyer may face a maximum penalty of life in prison without the chance of release if she’s found guilty.
According to Tuesday’s news release from the Minot Police Department, Investigations Commander Captain Dale Plessas remarked, “This investigation was highly complex.” “We appreciate everyone who helped our detectives by sharing what they knew.”