NYSP: Little Falls man found dead may have asked woman to end his life

By WKTV News

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State Police have arrested a Little Falls woman in connection with the death of a 74 year old man, also from Little Falls, who was found dead beside his car near farmland on Eatonville Road early Tuesday morning.

Authorities say a landowner was checking on some farmland near Eatonville Road in the Town of Little Falls when, at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, he discovered a car parked off the road near his land. Beside that vehicle, the landowner found the body of a man later identified by authorities as Francis R. Nelson, 74, of the City of Little Falls.

Nelson's car was turned off when he was discovered by the landowner, but the keys remained in the ignition, State Police said.

Nelson had been last seen by family members around 7 p.m. on Monday night.

New York State Police Captain Mark Lincoln said on Tuesday that he had nothing that would lead him to believe Nelson had any sort of medical history, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or anything of the sort that might have led to his death. They also said they did not believe he was taking any kind of medication.

On Thursday morning, State Police announced that they had arrested Jennifer R. Riesel, 28, of Little Falls and charged her with second-degree murder.

State Police said that Riesel and Nelson met at the Little Falls Maennerchor, where they say Nelson was an officer of the organization. Authorities said that Riesel is claiming that Nelson told her he had a terminal disease. State Police said they had no evidence to support that fact at this point in the investigation.

According to authorities, Riesel claims that because of the undisclosed terminal disease, Nelson have asked Riesel to end his life, promising that she would in return, receive a financial gain from his death.

State Police Captain Mark Lincoln said Riesel is claiming Nelson offered her $180,000 for killing him, but how that deal between the two would have worked is still under investigation.

State Police said that it appears Nelson was laying on the ground with his feet and hands tied and Riesel then intentionally ran over him with a car borrowed by a friend, causing his death.

Riesel is currently being held in the Herkimer County Jail.

Service times for Nelson have been set for Saturday, October 1, 2011, with calling hours set from 10 a.m. to Noon and a funeral service at Noon at the Enea Funeral Home on West Monroe Street in Little Falls.

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