Family of slain ex-Arkansas lawmaker ‘sickened’ by arrest

Photo: The Randolph County Sheriff confirms O’Donnell is pictured right in this photo. The Senator is pictured left. The suspect made this her profile photo on Facebook days after the homicide (photo courtesy: KLRT via O’Donnell’s Facebook).

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   The family of a former Arkansas state senator who was found dead outside of her home says it is "sickened and upset" by the thought that one of her friends could have been involved in her death.

Authorities on Friday announced the arrest of 48-year-old Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, of Pocahontas, in connection with the killing of 57-year-old Linda Collins.

Collins' family said in a statement released late Friday that they are "sickened and upset that someone so close to Linda, would be involved in such a terrible, heartless crime."

Police say criminal charges are pending and didn't say whether they were seeking any other suspects in the death of Collins, who went by Collins-Smith when she was in the Legislature. Her body was found June 4 outside her home in
Pocahontas.

Collins was elected to the Arkansas State Senate for District 19 in 2014. The district includes eastern Fulton County and all of Izard, Sharp, Independence and Randolph Counties. She lost her re-election bid in 2018 to James Sturch of Batesville.

Collins' funeral is Saturday.

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