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A North Dakota Man Inherited $30 Million but Then Died After Cops Say His Jilted Girlfriend Poisoned Him. Now, His Son Says It Was All a Hoax.

Woman Accused of Killing Boyfriend After $30M Inheritance, Breakup Plan
Source: Minot Police Department; Unsplash

Ina Thea Kenoyer allegedly poisoned her boyfriend after he planned on breaking up with her with his newly inherited $30 million, police said.

Nov. 2 2023, Published 11:31 a.m. ET

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A North Dakota woman has been arrested after authorities allege she poisoned her boyfriend right as he was supposed to receive a $30 million inheritance and break up with her. It turns out they both got scammed.

On Oct. 30, the Minot Police Department announced 47-year-old Ina Thea Kenoyer was charged with felony murder in connection with the Sept. 5 death of 51-year-old Steven Edward Riley Jr., a death that cops said was driven by “financial motives.”

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In a statement, investigations commander Capt. Dale Plessas said, “This case was extremely complex.”

On Sept. 3, Riley went to the Minot Airport to meet with a lawyer to collect the $30 million inheritance when he became ill, according to witnesses.

However, Kenoyer didn’t call 911 until the next day. When paramedics arrived, they found Riley unresponsive in his Minot home, police said.

He was transported to the hospital and died the following day.

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An autopsy revealed Riley was killed after ingesting antifreeze, which Kenoyer is accused of giving him, according to police.

According to court documents obtained by The New York Post, Kenoyer told police she was entitled to the inheritance because she was Riley’s common law wife even though North Dakota doesn’t recognize common law marriages.

Kenoyer also told investigators she planned on splitting the inheritance with Riley’s son, court documents stated.


Now Ryan Riley, the victim's 21-year-old son, has revealed the couple fell victim to an online scammer and there never was a multi-million-dollar inheritance, according to The New York Post.

Ryan told the outlet that his dad received an email from someone who claimed to be a lawyer for an unknown "distant relative." The two then planned to meet at the Minot Airport so Steven Riley could sign for the cash payment.

However, Ryan Riley said the lawyer never showed up at the airport and "it was a stranger who managed to trick my dad into believing it was true, unfortunately."

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Adding to the bizarre circumstances surrounding his father's death, authorities said Kenoyer poisoned Steven Riley after she learned he was planning on breaking off their relationship once he received the inheritance.

Kenoyer was booked into the Ward County Detention Center and was being held without bond.

Court records indicate she was representing herself in the case.


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