Woman Charged for Poisoning Boyfriend After Learning he Inherited $30 Million

In Minot, North Dakota, a case of fatal poisoning has gripped the community. Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, stands accused of murdering her 51-year-old boyfriend, Steven Edward Riley Jr., after discovering he had just inherited $30 million. Charged with murder on Monday, Kenoyer’s act was described by the Minot Police Department as driven by “financial motives.”

Capt. Dale Plessas, who leads the investigations unit, characterized the case as “extremely complex.” The investigation revealed that Riley fell ill during a meeting with his lawyer on September 3, when he was to receive the inheritance. Despite his condition, Kenoyer reportedly did not call emergency services until the following day. Paramedics found Riley unresponsive in his home and he succumbed to his illness in the hospital the next day.

Kenoyer, according to police reports, fed Riley antifreeze, leading to his death. An autopsy confirmed this cause of death. In the days preceding her arrest, Kenoyer maintained her innocence through bewildering Facebook posts, even suggesting that Riley had taken his own life.

The accused also claimed a stake in Riley’s newfound fortune, asserting her status as his common-law wife entitled her to a share. However, North Dakota law does not recognize common-law marriages. Additionally, Riley had reportedly planned to end their relationship after acquiring his inheritance, a detail that led investigators to speculate the murder was motivated by Kenoyer’s desire to claim the inheritance.

Riley’s son, expressing his grief and suspicion on Facebook, hoped for justice against Kenoyer. Charged with AA felony murder — the most severe category in North Dakota — Kenoyer is being held without bond. She has chosen to represent herself, as per court records.

This incident adds to a growing list of domestic poisonings in the U.S., where individuals have targeted their partners, often motivated by financial gain. Notably, a former Mayo Clinic doctor was recently charged with poisoning his wife during marital struggles, with plans to immediately cremate her body and claim a $500,000 life insurance policy.