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Former Arkansas senator found dead in apparent homicide

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June 7 (UPI) — Former Arkansas Sen. Linda Collins-Smith was found dead at her home this week and it is being treated as a homicide, authorities said.

On Tuesday, the body of a female was found at Collins-Smith’s Pocahontas residence, some 145 miles northeast of Little Rock, Randolph Country Sheriff Kevin Bell said in a press conference Wednesday. He said officers responded to the scene at about 5:45 p.m. and the Arkansas State Police Investigation Division was dispatched along with forensics examiners.

“The condition of the body prevented any immediate positive identification,” he said, adding, “the body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the positive identification and the cause of death.”

However, on Thursday state police confirmed her death and said it was being treated as a homicide, KAIT 8 reported.

Arkansas GOP also confirmed her death via Twitter, stating the party was “praying for her loved ones.”

“Today, we learned of the untimely death of former Senator Linda Collins Smith,” Arkansas GOP tweeted Tuesday. “She was a passionate voice for her people and a close member of our Republican family.”

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin also sent out his condolences, saying Collins-Smith was a friend.

“She will be missed,” he said.

Collins-Smith, 57, was first elected to the state House in 2010 as a Democrat but switched parties in 2011. She was defeated for re-election in May 2018 in the Republican primary.

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