Former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins-Smith, who switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP in 2011 and campaigned against sanctuary city polices, was found dead at home Tuesday. She was 57.
According to local reports, Collins-Smith of Pocahontas, Arkansas, was shot dead in her home. Her death is being investigated a murder.
Former Senator Collins-Smith switched from Democrat to Republican during her first term in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2011, and was voted into the Senate in 2014 representing District 19.
Former press secretary Ken Yang confirmed to Region 8 News Tuesday night that Collins-Smith was found dead.
According to Yang, neighbors had reportedly heard gunshots a day or two before Collins-Smith was discovered today (June 4). Her body was partially decomposed, according to Arkansas Times, and reportedly found wrapped in some sort of blanket.
Against sanctuary city policies
Linda Collins-Smith’s politics continued to evolve in the years after she exited the Democratic Party, with her opposition to Arkansas cities becoming “sanctuary” cities drawing criticism from the left in recent months.
Linda Collins-Smith recently appeared on Patriots Soapbox, a 24/7 live channel for the QAnon community on YouTube. She discussed legislation to prevent Arkansas municipalities from adopting the “sanctuary cities” model regarding undocumented immigrants.
Collins-Smith told Patriots Soapbox that she recently met with Arkansas Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman to speak about legislation that she believes would combat undocumented immigration in the state.
The former Senator was also one of very few politicians to tweet about the NXIVM cult in recent months.
Arkansas Times reports that Collins-Smith, a former Democrat, was defeated for re-election in 2018. She was divorced from her husband, retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith, in October 2018.
The Spring River Chronicle Facebook page also is reporting the death:
Law-enforcement in Randolph County has confirmed that former Senator Linda Collins-Smith was found dead in her home In Pocahontas around 7:15 PM of an apparent gunshot wound. Currently there are several Randolph County deputies, the coroner and Arkansas Game and Fish officers on site with their dogs according to a witness at the scene.