(KFSM) — A murder investigation is underway after a former northeast Arkansas Senator was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas State Police are investigating the death of former state Senator Linda Collins-Smith as a homicide. As of right now, no suspects have been named.
According to Collins-Smith’s former press secretary Ken Yang, the 57-year-olds body was found wrapped in blankets with a gunshot wound in her head.
Yang says neighbors heard gunshots several days before her body was found. Property records show the Pocahontas home where her body was found belonged to her and her ex-husband.
According to court documents, Collins-Smith requested a protection order against her estranged husband in November of 2017. He has not been named a suspect.
Authorities are saying that her death is being investigated as a murder.
“The body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the positive identification and cause of death. Third Judicial District Circuit Judge Herald Irwin has issued an order sealing the documents obtained by the police during this investigation” said Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell.
The Arkansas GOP tweeted, “She was a passionate voice for her people and a close member of our Republican family.”
Collins-Smith was first elected to the Arkansas House as a Democrat in 2010. She switched to the Republican party in 2011 and was elected to the Senate in 2014. She lost her bid for re-election in 2018.