REPORT: Man Was Allegedly Fatally Poisoned Over $30 Million Inheritance — Now Family Says It Was A Scam

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A North Dakota man was reportedly killed by his girlfriend in September over a $30 million inheritance check. However, the victim’s family is now claiming that the inheritance was all just a scam.

Steven Edward Riley Jr., 51, was on his way to the Minot Airport on Sept. 3 to collect what he believed was an inheritance check worth $30 million. However, Riley fell ill and was admitted to a Bismarck hospital. He died two days later from “toxic levels” of poisoning, according to an affidavit. 

An investigation from the Minot Police Department found that Riley’s girlfriend, Ina Thea Kenoyer, 47, poisoned him due to “financial motives.”  It is believed that Kenoyer knew she would not be included in the inheritance money and that Riley had already planned a breakup, according to the New York Post.  

“This case was extremely complex,” Investigations Commander Capt. Dale Plessas stated. “Thank you to everyone who provided us with information that helped our investigators piece this together.”

Now, the victim’s 21-year-old son, Ryan Riley, has come forward claiming that the inheritance was never real, but just an online scam. Ryan stated that his father had received an email from someone claiming to be the lawyer of a “distant relative.”(RELATED: ‘One Of Worst Cases I Have Seen In My 27 Years In Law Enforcement,’ Chief Says After Finding Woman At Halfway House)

Riley was told to meet him at the Minot Airport in order to “receive” the inheritance. 

“He wasn’t suspicious before he went to the airport, but he was convinced he had inherited the money and was going to receive it when the supposed lawyer landed,” Ryan told The New York Post.

“He planned on getting acres of land, giving me and some of my brothers a chunk. Then opening his own auto shop. But the supposed lawyer never showed up. It was a scam. It was a stranger who managed to trick my dad into believing it was true, unfortunately.”

An Investigations Commander of Minot Police Department backed Ryan’s statement by confirming that there was “no indication” of the inheritance.

“Both Steven an Ina believed the $30 million inheritance was real, but we have no indication that it would have ever been paid out,” Captain Dale Plessas told the New York Post.

Kenoyer is currently charged with Class AA felony murder and faces maximum life sentencing without parole. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 7. (RELATED: Man Arrested For Attempting To Kill Ex-Girlfriend’s Father Released On Bail, Then Murders Her Mother: Police)