Death Of Former Arkansas Lawmaker Probed As Homicide

Former GOP State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith was found Tuesday, appearing to have died of a gunshot wound.

Former Arkansas State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R) was found dead at her Randolph County home Tuesday, appearing to have been killed by a gunshot wound.

The county sheriff’s office confirmed Friday to HuffPost that the body was indeed that of Collins-Smith. According to a Wednesday press release from Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce, it was not immediately identifiable because of its condition and was sent for an autopsy. 

Collins-Smith’s former press secretary Ken Yang confirmed to local ABC affiliate KATV that she had died and that the matter is being investigated as a homicide.

On Tuesday, he reacted to the news in a tweet.

“I am shocked and in tears,” he wrote. “That’s my friend, Linda has always been there for me! I’m speechless.”

Yang told NBC News neighbors had heard gunshots within the past few days and noted that Collins-Smith had been remarkably quiet on social media since May 28, despite typically posting every day.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Twitter that he was “stunned and saddened” by the loss.

“She was a good person who served in the public arena with passion and conviction,” he wrote. “The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time.”