Wife, friend may have poisoned husband with mushrooms, Hamilton County Sheriff says

The wife of a Salesforce employee and her alleged accomplice left a trail of incriminating clues on their cell phones and in retail purchases the days leading up to the discovery of David Michael Fouts’ body, according to charging documents filed in Hamilton County Superior Court. 

Katrina Fouts, 54 of Pendleton, and Terry Hopkins, 64 of Williamsburg, have been charged in connection with the killing of Fouts, who may have died from ingestion of poisonous mushrooms, according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office’s investigators.

Each was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report a corpse. Katrina Fouts was also charged with false reporting.

Fouts, 50, was found in a ditch near the 21500 block of Overdorf Road in rural Noblesville on April 24, several days after he was last seen, immediately raising detectives’ suspicions because the body appeared to have been moved.

Investigators said Katrina Fouts never reported her husband missing or tried to call him in the days after he had disappeared. But, according to the affidavit, they discovered searches on her cell phone about a poisonous mushroom and inquiries about overdosing on medications.

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An autopsy revealed several chunks of mushrooms in Fouts’ stomach, according to Hamilton County Coroner John Chaflin.

“There was a poisonous agent in his stomach,” Chaflin told IndyStar, “that, if untreated, will produce death.”

Searches, purchases examined

Hamilton County Pathologist Thomas Sozio wrote that “mushrooms in the decedent’s stomach contents which were identified as Leucocybe connatum as the basis for the cause and manner of death.”

Investigators said Hopkins, a retired Richmond police officer, is a life-long friend to Katrina Fouts who looked after her father and she called “Pops.” Hopkins, in turn, called Fouts “MKFAM” (my kid from another mother) and made several suspicious purchases while Fouts was missing, investigators said.

Hopkins bought microfiber cleaning cloths, duct tape, six-inch diagonal cutters, utility knives, box cutters and cleaning gloves at the Harbor Freight Tools store in Richmond, according to the affidavit.

A day before Fouts was found, Hopkins bought two blue tarps and 6,400-pound lifting sling, investigators said. He also bought a 500-pound hydraulic lift and white zip ties at the Harbor Freight Tools store in Muncie, investigators said.

Held without bond

When Fouts was found by a dog walker, his pockets were inside out and his wallet and self-phone were missing, according to the affidavit. He was barefoot and had superficial cuts with a sharp object to his left hand, investigators said.  Fouts also had three abrasions on the right foot, as if he’d been dragged, according to the affidavit.

Police said video surveillance camera’s caught a vehicle driving by the spot where Fouts was found four times about 15 hours before he was discovered. 

Investigators said Katrina Fouts was interviewed several times and eventually admitted to the crime. But the affidavit does not provide details on how she said it was committed. After her first interview, investigators said Fouts searched on her phone for “Indiana homicide laws,” “crime of passion law in Indiana” and “How to pass lie detector test.”

David Fouts was a senior consultant and technology architect at Salesforce in Indianapolis, an avid cyclist and an animal lover.

Friends said Fouts was multi-talented, with skills in woodworking and mechanics and had a soft spot for dogs, adopting four greyhounds.

Fouts and Hopkins are being held without bond in the Hamilton County Jail. No defense attorneys for them were included in court documents.

They will next appear in court Nov. 10 before Superior Court Judge William Hughes.

Call IndyStar reporter John Tuohy at 317-444-6418. Email at john.tuohy@indystar.com and follow on Twitter and Facebook.