A North Dakota woman fatally poisoned her boyfriend after learning about his plans to dump her because he had inherited $30 million just hours earlier, police said.
Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, was charged Monday, Oct. 30, with the Sept. 5 murder of Steven Edward Riley Jr., 51.
“This case was extremely complex,” said investigations commander Capt. Dale Plessas of the Minot Police Department in the U.S.
Riley became ill when he met with his lawyer on Sept. 3 to collect the massive inheritance sum, witnesses told investigators, according to police records.
Kenoyer didn’t call 911 until the next day, Sept. 4, when paramedics arrived to find Riley unresponsive in his Minot home.
He died at the hospital the following day, Sept. 5, 2023.
An autopsy determined he was killed after ingesting antifreeze, which police allege Kenoyer fed him.
The accused killer proclaimed her innocence in a series of Facebook posts in the days leading up to her arrest, claiming Riley had killed himself.
“To the Shafer that almost hit me, that’s not married hello hunny I wish I was looking for someone but no I’m a one man woman, kind person, and Steve Riley the only man I ever wanted,” she said in a post three days before she was charged with murder.
Kenoyer told investigators she planned to split Riley’s inheritance, which she estimated to be around $30 million, with his son, the records state.
She claimed she was entitled to the fortune as his common-law wife. North Dakota, however, does not recognize such relationships.
Additionally, Riley had revealed plans to break off the romance shortly after receiving the massive sum, leading investigators to theorize she poisoned him to secure the treasure.
“Rest in peace dad… I had a feeling it was her with how everything played out, but f–k I wish we made plans to see each other sooner,” Riley’s grieving son wrote on Facebook. “Hope she gets what she deserves for taking you from this world.”
Kenoyer faces AA felony murder, the most severe murder charge in North Dakota.
She is being held without bond at the Ward County Detention Center and is representing herself, court records show.