CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Kouri Richins’ mom could have assisted in alleged poisoning of husband, detective said

Mar 15, 2024, 7:00 PM

Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband then wrote a...

Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband then wrote a children's book about grieving, walks out of the court during a recess at a bail hearing Monday, June 12, 2023, in Park City, Utah. An unsealed search warrant shows Kouri Richins' mother lost her own partner under very similar suspicious circumstances. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

(Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

KAMAS, Utah — An unsealed search warrant shows Kouri Richins’ mother lost her partner under very similar suspicious circumstances.

The search warrant was served in 2023 just over a year after the death of Eric Richins. Eric Richins died from fentanyl poisoning in May 2022. Kouri Richins is charged with one count of criminal homicide relating to his death.

Death by oxycodone overdose

In the search warrant, detective Jeff H. O’Driscoll with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office wrote that he discovered the partner of Lisa Darden, Kouri’s mother, died in 2006. Darden’s partner died from an overdose of oxycodone.

O’Driscoll also noted that Darden had been named the partner’s beneficiary just before her death.

According to the search warrant, Darden’s partner did have prescriptions for oxycodone and struggled with prescription drug abuse. Despite this, she was not “in a state of recovery from addiction at the time of her death.”

O’Driscoll said it is clear that Kouri Richins is close with her mother based on a search of Kouri’s phone. According to O’Driscoll, Kouri and her mother would communicate daily about personal and business matters.

Additionally, O’Driscoll said some of these personal matters included conversations about Eric. These conversations, said O’Droscoll, suggest Darden held disdain for Eric.

“Based on Lisa Darden’s proximity to her partner’s suspicious overdose death, and her relationship with Kouri, it is possible she was involved in planning and orchestrating Eric’s death,” O’Driscoll wrote in the search warrant.

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Kouri Richins’ mom could have assisted in alleged poisoning of husband, detective said