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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, speaks at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Authorities in Arkansas say they're investigating as a homicide remains found outside the home of the former state senator who Republican Party officials say is dead. An Arkansas State Police spokesman said Wednesday, June 5, 2019, that the remains were found Tuesday outside the home in Pocahontas. Police declined to identify the victim. Property records show the home belongs to Collins-Smith and her ex-husband. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

A Pocahontas woman was arrested in the death of former state Sen. Linda Collins, authorities said Friday night.

Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, 48, of Pocahontas was in custody, according to a news release from Arkansas State Police. Authorities said that criminal charges are pending.

The agency worked with Randolph County sheriff’s deputies and the Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on the arrest.

State police said the investigation was at a "critical juncture" and that no further information would be released "until authorities are confident it will not comprise the integrity of the criminal case."

In a statement, Collins' family members said they 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," the statement continued. "We would like to thank everyone for the continued prayers and thoughts for our family during this difficult time."

Collins, 57, was found dead at her home at 4023 W. Arkansas 90 in Pocahontas on June 4.

A gag order was issued in the case June 5, preventing the release of major material in the investigation, including law enforcement and medical reports.

Authorities released no additional information about how the former state senator died.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments

  • arkateacher54
    June 14, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Sexual hanky panky involved, I'll bet you a nickel.

  • arkateacher54
    June 14, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Sexual hanky panky involved, I'll bet you a nickel.

  • arkateacher54
    June 14, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Sexual hanky panky involved, I'll bet you a nickel.

  • arkateacher54
    June 14, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Sexual hanky panky involved, I'll bet you a nickel.

  • arkateacher54
    June 14, 2019 at 7:58 p.m.

    Sexual hanky panky involved, I'll bet you a nickel.

  • itryed
    June 14, 2019 at 8:03 p.m.

    Arka sounds like you have experience

  • ARMNAR
    June 15, 2019 at 12:13 a.m.

    I think it was ABB in The Library with The Candlestick.

  • RBBrittain
    June 15, 2019 at 12:47 a.m.

    ABB? Nope; she's anti-trans just like Collins was. Building on what I've said here before, I would be a better suspect in this case than the woman who "deadnamed" me here some months ago.
    .
    The implications of the "critical juncture" announcement are the same as Arkateacher54's spammy posts: Though this is pure conjecture (not admissible in court, why they put a gag order on the case), it looks an awful lot like this is Philip Smith's "other woman" and they're trying to pin him down. The growing use in death of the victim's maiden name, in lieu of the hyphenated surname she used in life (and initially kept after her divorce), suggests a growing belief among those closest to her that Judge Smith was responsible.

  • FireEyes
    June 18, 2019 at 9:11 a.m.

    RBBrittain - that was my thought from the very beginning. This one is going to get ugly before justice is served.

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