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Family friends shocked by Utah author's arrest for husband's murder

Eric and Kouri Richins' house in Kamas, Utah (Photo: KUTV)
Eric and Kouri Richins' house in Kamas, Utah (Photo: KUTV)
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A family friend who says she introduced Kouri Richins to her late husband Eric spoke about her shock to the news of her arrest.

Richins, 33, of Kamas, was arrested on Monday on charges of murder and possession for allegedly lacing Eric Richins' drink with fentanyl and killing him in March 2022.

Richins later wrote a children's book on surviving grief and loss, which was for sale on Amazon and had since been taken down from their website.

The story of Kouri and Eric started about a decade earlier, when Linda King said she introduced the two to one another at a Home Depot.

King, who was working as a cashier along with Kouri Richins, said it was a fairytale romance.


"I pray to God this isn’t true," she said. "Their family was so beautiful. Everything was picture-perfect, but I guess it wasn’t."

King said that Eric Richins was a frequent and favorite customer at the Home Depot where she and Kouri worked at.

"You could never forget his laugh," she said. "I loved that laugh so much. He would come into my line all the time."

She said she was the one who encouraged him to ask Kouri out after seeing her catch his eye.

"I said [to] go over there and check out with her, you know, so they did, and they ended up having a date," said King. "From then on, they were like glued to each other. It was perfect, I thought."

After Kouri left the cashier job, her and King kept in touch. King said she felt a special connection to them.

"It seemed like they were my children," she said. "I was proud of them. That’s how I felt about them."

When Kouri told King that Eric died of a brain aneurism last year, she said she was both surprised and devastated, but she never questioned it or suspected foul play.

"I thought well that’s what it was. Poor Eric," said King.

She even looked at buying Kouri’s book on Amazon, written for children about grief and loss. Looking back now, it's something she said she finds deeply disturbing.

"It makes me sick to my stomach to think about that," she said.

While she said she wants to leave it up to the courts to decide, King said she is completely torn over the news and was trying to wrap her head around something that seems so unbelievable.

"Like, she couldn’t do that," said King. "She wouldn’t do that. She had too much. It’s more than super shocking. I really feel numb."

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2News tried reaching out to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Summit County Attorney's Office to ask them about why this investigation took over a year to lead to an arrest. Both parties said that they will not be commenting on the case at this time.

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