In a bizarre coincidence, two former Republican state senators have been found shot to death in their homes within two days of each other.
Former Arkansas Senator Linda Collins was found shot dead in her home on Tuesday.
Her death is being investigated as a murder, according to her former press secretary Ken Yang.
Yang also said that her body was found wrapped in a blanket.
“It was shocking,” he told KATV in an interview Tuesday night. “This was not just a political relationship. This was a close personal friendship that I had with Linda.”
The body of a woman was discovered Tuesday night at Linda Collins-Smith’s residence in the city of Pocahontas, some 145 miles northeast of the state capital, Little Rock.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies responded to the scene and then asked the Arkansas State Police to be the lead investigative agency in what is currently being treated as a homicide investigation.
“The condition of the body prevented any immediate positive identification,” Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell said at a press conference Wednesday.
“The body has been sent for an autopsy to determine the positive identification and cause of death.
Authorities wouldn’t say if Collins-Smith is the victim, and a judge has issued a gag order sealing the documents and statements obtained by police.
“Arkansas State Police has not, as of this hour, issued a statement that positively identifies a homicide victim in this case,” Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler told ABC News in an email early Thursday morning.
“I’m both stunned and saddened by the death of former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
“She was a good person who served in the public arena with passion and conviction. The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time.”
I’m both stunned and saddened by the death of former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith. She was a good person who served in the public arena with passion and conviction. The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time.
— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) June 5, 2019
Today, we learned of the untimely death of former Senator Linda Collins Smith. She was a passionate voice for her people and a close member of our Republican family. We are praying for her loved ones during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/uOg76yd6dF
— Arkansas GOP (@ARGOP) June 5, 2019
“She was a friend and warm person. We are stunned and saddened to hear of her death. Please join us in prayer as we remember her family and her loved ones.”
To so many of us, Senator Linda Collins-Smith was more than just a colleague. She was a friend and warm person. We are stunned and saddened to hear of her death.
— Democratic Party of Arkansas (@ArkDems) June 5, 2019
According to reports, the gun he was shot with was placed on a table across the room from the body.
The New York Daily News reports:
Former Oklahoma state Sen. Jonathan Nichols, 53, was found dead inside his home in Norman on Wednesday night from an apparent gunshot wound, police said.
Cops are working with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause and manner of death.
“I am shocked and incredibly saddened to learn that Jonathan has passed away,” McCall said in a statement to The Oklahoman.
“He was a valuable member of my staff and a friend. Jonathan was a very proud man, but he served humbly.”
Nichols leaves behind his wife and two daughters.