Utah woman who wrote children’s book about coping with grief arrested on suspicion of killing husband
05/09/2023 12:35 pm PDT
KAMAS, Utah (TCD) -- A 33-year-old woman who authored a book on dealing with grief was arrested this week for allegedly killing her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl.
KCPW-FM reports Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Kouri Richins on Monday, May 8, on charges of aggravated murder and three counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance in connection with her husband Eric Richins’ death in March 2022.
According to Kouri Richins' charging documents, on March 4, 2022, at 3:22 a.m., deputies and EMS officials went to the Richins' home on Willow Court after Kouri called to report her husband was unresponsive. Deputies and medics found Eric at the bottom of the bed and attempted lifesaving measures on him, but he was soon pronounced dead.
Kouri allegedly told investigators that the night prior at about 9 p.m., she brought Eric a Moscow Mule in bed because they were celebrating the fact that she closed on a house for her business. She said she went to sleep in one of their children’s rooms because the child "was having a night terror." When she went back to her room at around 3 a.m., she reportedly "felt Eric and he was cold to the touch."
The affidavit says Kouri told investigators she left her phone in her bedroom and did not take it with her to her child’s room, but data from the phone reportedly showed it had been opened several times. Kouri also allegedly sent text messages from her phone, which were later deleted.
The medical examiner performed an autopsy on Eric and determined he died from a fentanyl overdose and had five times the lethal dosage in his system. Additionally, the medical examiner said the drugs were "illicit fentanyl and not medical-grade fentanyl."
Detectives executed a search warrant at the Richins' house and seized Kouri’s phone. Investigators found communication between Kouri and an acquaintance who was only identified as C.L. According to the affidavit, C.L. has previous drug-related arrests.
Summit County detectives interviewed C.L. on May 2, and C.L. said Kouri reached out to them around December 2021 and February 2022 and asked about obtaining some drugs for an investor with a back injury. C.L. dropped off hydrocodone pills at a home Kouri was reportedly flipping, and she allegedly left C.L. cash.
Kouri allegedly spoke with C.L. in early 2022 about getting stronger drugs, specifically "some of the Michael Jackson stuff." She reportedly requested fentanyl, and C.L. bought 15 to 30 pills from a dealer Feb. 11, 2022. Kouri allegedly paid C.L. $900 for the drugs.
On Feb. 14, 2022, Kouri and Eric had a Valentine’s Day dinner at their home in Kamas, and Eric "became very ill." He reportedly told a friend he believed Kouri was poisoning him.
Two weeks after that, Kouri allegedly reached out to C.L. a third time and asked for more fentanyl. C.L. dropped the drugs off Feb. 26, 2022.
About a year after Eric’s death, Kouri released a children’s book called "Are You with Me?" which "follows the story of a child who has lost their father, but who is reminded that his presence still exists all around them, just like an angel watching over them."
The book came out March 7.
On May 4, just days before her arrest, Kouri posted a tribute to her husband on Facebook, writing, "Life is just so damn hard without you here! The cards I have been dealt seems like a game that just can’t be played. #pleasecomehome Eric Richins."
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