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The author of the tragic death book is accused of murdering her husband

After her husband died last year, she wrote a children’s book about grief. Now he has been charged with murder.

Kauri Richins was arrested Monday in Utah and charged in documents related to poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Camas, a small mountain town near Park City. According to a probable cause statement, the victims “told a friend that he thought his wife was trying to poison him,” CBS affiliate KUTV reported.

Wife Killing Children's Book

This photo provided by KPCW.org shows Kauri Richins at the KPCW studios in Park City, Utah, on April 12, 2023. Richins was arrested in Utah on May 8, 2023, and accused of poisoning her husband with a lethal dose of fentanyl at their home in Camas.

/ AP

Prosecutors allege that Richins called authorities on a mid-March 2022 night to report that her husband, Eric Richins, was “cold to the touch.” The mother-of-three told officers she made her husband a mixed vodka drink to celebrate him selling a house and then went to soothe one of their children to sleep in their bedroom. She later returned and found her husband unresponsive after calling 911.

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

In addition to the murder charge, Richins also faces charges of alleged possession of GHB — a narcolepsy drug often used in recreational settings, including dance clubs.

Detectives said they found evidence that Richins had been in contact with a man who was previously charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, KUTV reported. Richins texted the man asking for some prescription pain medication for an investor who had a back injury and was given hydrocodone pills. About two weeks later, Coury said his investor wanted something stronger and requested “some Michael Jackson stuff,” specifically asking for fentanyl.

KUTV reports that three days after Richins allegedly collected the fentanyl — she and her husband had a Valentine’s Day dinner where she “became very ill,” a probable cause statement reads.

“Eric believed he had been poisoned,” the statement said. “Eric told a friend he thought his wife was trying to poison him.”

Richins’ “Are You With Me?” on local television. The charges came two months after he appeared for the campaign. She wrote a picture book to help children cope after the death of a loved one.

For a piece titled “Good Things Utah,” Richins called her husband’s death unexpected and described how it sent her and her three sons reeling. For children, she said, grieving was “making sure their spirit lives on in your home forever.”

“It’s — you know — explaining to my kid that he’s not physically here with us, doesn’t mean his presence isn’t here with us,” she told the anchors, who praised her for being an amazing mom.

KUTV reports the book’s dedication reads: “Dedicated to my amazing husband and a wonderful father.”

Richins’ attorney, Skye Lazaro, declined to comment on the allegations.

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