Mother who authored children's book on grief charged with husband's murder

Kouri Richins was arrested on Monday. Credit: KPCW/AP

A mother in the US who wrote a children’s book on grief after the death of her husband last year, has now been charged with his murder.

Kouri Richins was arrested on Monday and is accused in charging documents of poisoning her husband, Eric, with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Utah.

Prosecutors allege the mother-of-three called the authorities in the middle of the night in March 2022 to report her husband was “cold to the touch.”

She had told officers she had made her husband a mixed vodka drink to celebrate him selling a home and then went to soothe one of their children to sleep in their bedroom.

The book aims to help children cope after the death of a loved one. Credit: Amazon

She said that upon finding her husband unresponsive when she returned later, she called 911.

A medical examiner later found five times the lethal dosage of fentanyl in his system.

It comes two months after Richins appeared on local television to promote a picture book she wrote to help children cope after the death of a loved one, called 'Are you with me?'.

The book, which is available to buy on Amazon, features a photograph of the family - including Eric Ritchins - on the back and follows the story of a child who has lost their father.

A summary on Amazon describes the book as being: "Written by a loving mother who personally faced this challenge, this book is designed to offer comfort and solace to young minds in a way that is both accessible and engaging."

The book is also dedicated to her late-husband in a message on the first page which reads: "Dedicated to my amazing husband and a wonderful father".

For the TV segment entitled Good Things Utah, Richins called her husband's death unexpected and described how it sent her and her three boys reeling.

She added that for children grieving was about “making sure that their spirit is always alive in your home.”

“It's - you know - explaining to my kid just because he's not present here with us physically, doesn't mean his presence isn't here with us,” she told the anchors, who commended her for being an amazing mother.

In addition to the murder charge, Richins also faces charges involving the alleged possession of GHB, which is a narcolepsy drug frequently used in recreational settings.

The charges are based on officers' interactions with Richins that night and the account of an “unnamed acquaintance” who claims to have sold her the fentanyl.

Richins' attorney Skye Lazaro declined to comment on the charges.

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