A North Dakota man who police say was fatally poisoned with anti-freeze by his girlfriend over a $30 million inheritance was not going to get any money as he was the victim of an online scam, his son says.
Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, murdered Steven Edward Riley Jr, 51, by feeding him poison on September 3, the day he had met with a lawyer to collect the whopping sum, police records state.
‘It was a scam,’ Riley’s son, Ryan, told The New York Post in a new interview. ‘He was convinced he had inherited the money and was going to receive it when the supposed lawyer landed. But the supposed lawyer never showed up,’ Ryan added.
In response to the Post’s story, a Minot Police Department spokesperson said that they have no evidence that the inheritance was real but investigators believe that both Riley and Kenoyer thought it was legitimate.
Ryan went on to tell the Post that his father had been planning to break it off with Kenoyer for a while. He described his dad as ‘caring’ but said his patience had worn thin with the suspect, calling her lazy adding that she never had a job.
Police believe Kenoyer (right) had ‘financial motives’ to murder Riley (left) after he inherited $30 million
Kenoyer (pictured), who has denied the charges, faces up to life in prison without parole
Steven Riley (pictured) died after ingesting antifreeze, an autopsy of his body found
‘She was extremely lazy and never did anything. [My dad] was a very caring person and would go out of his way to help those around him,’ the grieving son said.
According to his Facebook page, Ryan is in the US Army and is based in Fort Hood, Texas. After he heard that his father was ill, he rushed home to North Dakota and was able to see him before he passed.
”Rest in peace dad… I had a feeling it was her with how everything played out, but f*** I wish we made plans to see each other sooner. Hope she gets what she deserves for taking you from this world,’ he wrote in a Facebook post.
In his interview, Ryan said the home that his father and Kenoyer shared was deplorable with dog feces everywhere.
‘Dog waste almost everywhere, dirty clothes scattered all over the house, trash seemed to be endless, nothing there was clean,’ he said.
Investigators believe Kenoyer had ‘financial motives’ after learning that Riley planned to break off their relationship once he had received the inheritance.
Kenoyer told investigators she believed she was entitled to the fortune as his common-law wife, a status North Dakota does not recognize. Riley was planning to split the inheritance with his son.
Riley became ill on September 3 but his partner did not call 911 until the following day, witnesses told the police.
Ina Thea Kenoyer (pictured) was charged with the poisoning of her boyfriend on Monday
When paramedics arrived they found Riley unresponsive in his Minot home and he was rushed to Trinity Hospital in Minot.
He was later transferred to a Bismarck hospital where he died the following day.
Kenoyer told authorities that Riley had been drinking heavily and suffered heat stroke the previous day.
An autopsy determined he had not been drinking and had died after ingesting antifreeze.
A police search of the couple’s home revealed a Windex bottle containing what was suspected to be anti-freeze.
A beer bottle and plastic mug, both suspected of containing anti-freeze, were located in the garage.
Kenoyer denied the accusations in a series of incoherent Facebook posts.
‘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 faces AA felony murder, the most severe murder charge in North Dakota carrying a sentence of up to life imprisonment without parole.
She is being held without bond at the Ward County Detention Center and is representing herself, court records show.