Fox News reported that former campaign staffer Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, 48, had been identified as the suspect. Arkansas State Police told the outlet criminal charges were pending, but wouldn’t say whether other suspects had been identified or were being sought.
KTHV-TV reported O’Donnell’s connection to Collins-Smith’s last campaign. Ken Yang, former communications director for Collins-Smith, told the outlet that O’Donnell had worked on the former state senators last campaign and that the two were friends.
NBC-affiliate KARK published a statement from Collins-Smith’s family released Friday evening:
This evening, our family received the 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 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.
No motive has been suggested, and a photo of the two women smiling together has been making the rounds online. KARK reported that O’Donnell made the photo her profile picture “days after the homicide.” – READ MORE