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Woman arrested after allegedly poisoning boyfriend to death for his inheritance

By Melanie Uson Published Nov 02, 2023 2:33 pm

A woman from North Dakota has been charged with felony murder for allegedly killing her boyfriend of 10 years to claim his $30 million (over P1.6 billion) inheritance. 

Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 31 (PH time) for allegedly poisoning and killing her boyfriend, Steven Edward Riley Jr., 51, with antifreeze. She is now being held in Ward County Jail in North Dakota, United States.

Detailing the incident, the officials stated that Riley was supposed to meet his lawyer at an airport regarding the inheritance on Sept. 3, when he suddenly “felt sick” and complained of stomach pain where he vomited and struggled to walk. He was later rushed to Trinity Hospital, but because his condition got severe, he was transferred to Bismarck Hospital on Sept. 5 where he eventually died, as reported by NBC News. 

According to the police autopsy, Riley died due to poisoning where they found “toxic levels” of ethylene glycol in his system, an ingredient in antifreeze.  

Upon investigation of the couple’s property, authorities found a Windex bottle containing bright green liquid—which is suspected to be an antifreeze—in the living room, and a glass beer bottle and plastic mug in the garage which has the same liquid.  

Riley’s relatives raised alarms about Kenoyer to the authorities, sharing that she mentioned that he was poisoned even before the results of medical investigations had been made.  

Moreover, the couple was reportedly in a rocky state, as Riley was allegedly planning to leave Kenoyer once he received his inheritance, which was believed to be worth more than $30 million (over P1.6 billion). According to the court affidavit, she told investigators that she is entitled to the inheritance money since she considers herself as Riley's wife. She also planned to split it with his son.

The affidavit also noted that Riley's friends, who witnessed his health decline that night, tried to get him medical attention, but Kenoyer stopped them and insisted that he was having a heatstroke and just needed to rest.

On the contrary, Kenoyer claimed that she wanted to rush Riley for medical attention, but it was his friend who told her not to. She also claimed that Riley was drinking alcohol “all day” on Sept. 3, but there was no alcohol found in his system. 

Kenoyer is set for her first court appearance on Dec. 7.