KAMAS, Utah (ABC4) — It’s the case that’s captured the nation: Kouri Richins, the grief author was charged with murdering her husband. Today we focus on Eric Richins, the father of three whose life was cut short unexpectedly.

He was a blue-eyed all-American man. Eric was a doting father, a coach, an avid hunter, and an enthusiastic outdoorsman. His loved ones are expressing their grief and love for the man gone too soon. 

According to Eric’s obituary, he was born on May 13, 1982, to Linda and Gene Richins and was the oldest of three, being survived by his two younger sisters and his father. He grew up on a cattle ranch mending fences and hauling hay.

Eric was also reportedly naturally athletic and participated in basketball, baseball, and soccer. He was also a master hunter — but most of all, he “loved his family unconditionally.”

Before Eric and his wife Kouri married, there was a woman behind the scenes who watched their courtship. Linda King, a family friend, said she introduced Kouri and Eric years ago when she worked with Kouri at Home Depot. 

“He was the sweetest guy,” King said. “To me, he seemed like one of my kids. Seriously! He was just the sweetest, sweetest guy. He was so nice to all his employees and everybody.”

King said she has felt numb since hearing the recent developments surrounding the Richins case. But amidst the pain and heartache, King still spoke fondly of Eric, the man, and father she remembers so dearly. 

“Being a dad. He was a proud, proud dad,” recalled King.

Through fought-back tears, she said what she misses most is Eric’s laugh. King said it was the best laugh in town.