Arkansas state police said Friday Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell was arrested in connection with the death of former state Sen. Linda Collins
O’Donnell, 48, was said to be a friend and a former campaign staffer of Collins’
57-year-old Sen. Collins-Smith was found dead outside her home on June 4, although authorities haven’t revealed when or how she died
Authorities have not released cause of death, but sources said the former senator’s body, discovered wrapped in a blanket, allegedly had a gunshot wound
Authorities said that criminal charges against O’Donnell are pending
Former Arkansas GOP state sen. Collins [photo] was found dead outside her own home in Pocahontas, Ark., on June 4. The exact time of her death has not been released, but sources said Collins apparently died from gunshot injuries but her body was said to have started to decompose
Collins, 57, who went by Collins-Smith in the Legislature, was found dead June 4 outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Authorities have released few details about Collins’ killing and have not said how or when the former lawmaker was killed.
Her body was discovered wrapped in a blanket and allegedly had a gunshot wound, The Arkansas Times, reports
Sources claimed that Collins-Smith’s body had started to decompose, which made it difficult to identify.
Although active on social media, Collins’ last tweet was posted in late May.
Ken Yang, a former communications director for Collins, said that Collins’ neighbors heard gunshots a day or two before her body was discovered around 7.15pm on June 4.
A judge last week granted a request by prosecutors to seal documents and statements obtained by police during the investigation.
A State Police spokesman declined to say where O’Donnell was being held. The Randolph County jail referred questions to the sheriff, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment. State Police said it did not know when O’Donnell would appear in court.
Police said Friday night they have arrested Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, [left], in connection with the death of old boss, former state Sen. Linda Collins, [right]
The GOP politician is survived by her two adult children. Son Butch Smith and daughter, Heather Williams. Her daughter-in-law Jennifer McKenzie-Smith seen [left], with Sen. Collins-Smith and her husband Butch [right] posted on Facebook about the loss of her mother-in-law calling her killer a monster
As a State Senator, Collins-Smith introduced or co-sponsored multiple bills seeking to expand the places where concealed weapons could be carried, including college and university campuses, the state Capitol, other state offices and courtrooms.
She was once quoted as telling the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: ‘You can’t be pro-gun enough in Arkansas.’ She had an 87 percent rating from the National rifle Association for her positions on gun rights.
Sen. Collins-Smith is survived by her adult son Butch Smith, and daughter, Heather Tate Williams. Her dad and her sister, Kathy Franks, of Arkansas; and three grandchildren.
Collins and her husband, retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith, divorced last year and were in the middle of a legal fight over their properties, including a motel.
In a statement released June 11, Collins’ two adult children and father said they were ‘surprised, upset, angered, and saddened’ by her death.
And her daughter-in-law, Jennifer McKenzie-Smith, wrote on Facebook: ‘Linda Collins loved her family. Now, a monster has taken her away from us.
Collins’ funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pocahontas.