On Friday, a woman was arrested in connection to the murder of former Arkansas state politician Linda Collins-Smith.
The Republican legislator — who divorced last fall from retired Judge Philip Smith — was found dead in her home on June 4th in the town of Pocahontas.
Upon discovery, Linda’s former press secretary, Ken Yang, told Little Rock’s KATV she’d been shot to death. Furthermore, he explained, neighbors had reportedly heard gunfire a day or two before she was found wrapped in a blanket.
Now, 48-year-old Pocahontas resident Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell is in the custody of the Arkansas State Police.
Following the arrest, Ken released a statement on behalf of Linda’s family. Notably, Rebecca was characterized as a friend of the senator’s:
“This evening our family received news that an arrest was made in connection to the ongoing investigation. We are sickened and upset that someone so close to Linda, would be involved in such a terrible, heartless crime. The family is very confident that the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police will continue to work diligently to bring justice to this case. We would like to thank everyone for the continued prayers and thoughts for our family during this difficult time.”
Police described the investigation as being “presently at a critical juncture” and indicated no further information will be released in order to preserve the integrity of the case.
Linda served her state as a representative from 2011 to 2013 and as senator 2015-2019. She’d run for re-election last year but lost.
Ken said she cared deeply about the people she represented:
“[Linda was] someone who truly cared about Arkansas, truly cared about her district.”
Was Rebecca someone who truly cared about Linda?
Stay tuned for more as the high-profile investigation unfolds.