Kouri Richins, a 33-year-old Utah woman, who recently published a children’s book on coping with grief following her husband’s sudden death, has been charged with his murder.
Eric Richins was found dead in his bed on March 4, 2022, at the age of 39.
Kouri was charged with aggravated murder and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute over a year after the incident.
Initially, Kouri claimed that Eric died from a fentanyl overdose after she made him a Moscow Mule, which he drank in bed. She said she went to sleep with one of their children due to them having a “night terror,” but when she returned to their bedroom around 3:00 am, she found him “cold to the touch” and immediately called emergency services. However, the investigation uncovered a more sinister version of events.
Police claim that Kouri left her phone in her bedroom when she went to sleep with the child, but records show that it was “locked and unlocked multiple times” during that time. She allegedly sent and received messages during that same window, but they were deleted.
An autopsy confirmed that Eric died from a fentanyl overdose, with the medical examiner saying the levels in his system were “five times the lethal dosage.” After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found communications between Kouri and an “acquaintance” with a background in drug possession. She allegedly asked him for “prescription pain medication for an investor who had a back injury” and later requested “some of the Michael Jackson stuff” – fentanyl.
She paid $900 for 15-30 pills on February 11, 2022. On February 14, Valentine’s Day, Eric reportedly “became very ill” after a dinner with Kouri. At the time, he believed he had been poisoned and even told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to kill him.
On February 26, 2022, Kouri reached out for even more fentanyl pills, and Eric was found dead of an overdose six days later. According to search warrants, Eric’s sister said he believed Kouri tried to kill him during a trip to Greece after he became “violently ill” from a drink she gave him.
In January 2022, Kouri was accused of making herself the only beneficiary on the joint life insurance policy Eric had with his business partner. The men, however, changed it back after being notified by the insurance company. Eric also made his sister the beneficiary of his will shortly before his death because he believed Kouri might “kill him for the money” and warned family members “if anything happened to him, she was to blame.”
He was reportedly planning to file for divorce. Despite Kouri’s arrest, her recently published children’s book, “Are You with Me?” continues to be available for purchase. According to the Amazon listing, the book “gently guides children through the difficult experience of losing a loved one.”
In a post on Facebook, Kouri shared that she wrote the book to help comfort her three young sons after the sudden loss of their father. She wrote, “If anyone has young kids or knows someone that has lost a parent or a loved one, I hope this book brings them a little comfort and peace.”
Eric was remembered in his obituary as “a family man who always strove to be the absolute best father and husband.” He was an attentive and loving father to his three sons, Carter (9), Ashton (7), and Weston (5), and a devoted husband to Kouri.
Despite the tragic loss of Eric, his children’s welfare is now at the forefront of their family’s concerns. Kouri Richins will appear in court on May 19 for a detention hearing.