UPDATE 11/2/23 – 9:30 a.m.
MINOT, ND (KXNET) — In what could be a tragic twist in the case, investigating authorities believe Minot murder victim Steven Riley, who was to supposedly receive a $30 million inheritance payout and was allegedly killed for that money, may have actually been the victim of an online scam.
Reports suggest Riley apparently received an email from a person who claimed to be a lawyer for a “distant relative” and wanted to meet him at Minot International Airport to sign off on the inheritance cash. The “lawyer” reportedly never showed up at the airport.
Minot Police Captain Dale Plessas tells KX News, “We have no reason to believe the inheritance was real. We are not commenting beyond that because this is still actively being investigated.”
UPDATE: 11/1 – 4:00 p.m.
MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Ina Kenoyer was in court on Tuesday and is now being held on a $1 million bond.
Kenoyer poisoned her boyfriend, which resulted in his death in September.
She will be in court again on December 7 for a preliminary hearing. She is being charged with murder.
UPDATE: 10/31 – 3:52 p.m.
MINOT, ND (KXNET) — New details regarding how and why Ina Thea Kenoyer allegedly poisoned and killed her boyfriend have been released.
According to the arresting affidavit, Kenoyer’s boyfriend was in line to inherit over $30 million and was planning to leave Kenoyer whom he had been dating for about 10 years after he received the money. He was planning to meet a lawyer at the airport on September 3rd to complete the transaction.
On the day of September 3rd, many of the boyfriend’s friends were there with him at the airport and began to notice his health rapidly decline. He began feeling like he was drunk (despite not drinking any alcohol), had stomach pain, and began having trouble walking.
According to his friends, they tried to get the boyfriend some medical treatment but Kenoyer insisted that he was suffering from heat stroke and just needed to go home and rest. Soon after, he began vomiting and could not walk on his own. Friends stated they became very concerned but Kenoyer told them that she had medical training and knew that it was heat stroke.
The following morning, one of the friends came to the home to check on the boyfriend and spoke to Kenoyer through a closed door who stated that he was at a walk-in clinic. The friend then went to every walk-in clinic and ER in Minot and discovered that he was not at any of the locations.
Later that day, first responders came to the address for a report of an unconscious male and transported the boyfriend to Trinity ER where his condition was so severe that he was flown to CHI St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck. The man never regained consciousness and passed away the following day on September 5th.
Friends of the boyfriend then began to report to the police that they believed Kenoyer had poisoned him, as she had made comments about poisoning him with antifreeze in the past.
Due to this, a coroner ran tests on the boyfriend for ethylene glycol (a key ingredient in antifreeze) which came back with toxic levels of the substance. An autopsy was then performed and confirmed that he had died of ethylene glycol poisoning.
A search warrant was then conducted on Kenoyer and her boyfriend’s residence which resulted in investigators finding an old Windex bottle without a cap that contained a bright green liquid in the living room. A glass Coors Light bottle and a plastic mug both containing the same liquid were found in the garage. The liquid was suspected to be antifreeze.
Kenoyer told investigators that her boyfriend was drinking alcohol all day on September 3rd and that he had a heat stroke. Bloodwork done on the boyfriend after he died showed that there was no alcohol in his system.
Investigators continued to speak with Kenoyer who stated that she was aware of the inheritance the boyfriend was going to receive and was planning on splitting it with the boyfriend’s son now that he was dead, as she believed she was entitled to a portion of the money as she was his common-law wife.
Kenoyer became upset when investigators told her that in North Dakota they do not recognize common-law marriage and that she would not be entitled to any of the money.
She then began to provide scenarios of how her boyfriend could have potentially ingested antifreeze, like if his cigarette fell into the antifreeze in the garage and then he smoked it.
Kenoyer then began stating that on Google it says that heat stroke can “mimic poisoning.”
According to the affidavit, Kenoyer finally admitted that on September 3rd she had been making her boyfriend sweet tea with antifreeze in it. Ethylene glycol makes antifreeze sweet to the taste, which makes it very easy to disguise in sweet drinks.
Kenoyer is now being held in the Ward County Detention Center on Class AA Felony Murder with a preliminary hearing scheduled for December 7th.
ORIGINAL: 10/30 – 5:53 p.m.
MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — A Minot woman was arrested on Monday for killing her boyfriend through the use of poison.
According to the Minot Police Department, a 51-year-old Minot man died on September 5, 2023, at a Bismarck hospital. The man was brought to Trinity Hospital and was later transferred to a Bismarck hospital, where he died. The results of the autopsy determined that poisoning was the cause of death.
Police believe the girlfriend, 47-year-old Ina Thea Kenoyer, had financial motives to murder the man, and was charged with Class AA Felony Murder. She is currently being held at the Ward County Jail.
“This case was extremely complex,” said Investigations Commander Captain Dale Plessas in a press release. “Thank you to everyone who provided us with information that helped our investigators piece this together.”
This investigation is still ongoing.