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Body found near home owned by former Arkansas senator

by Clara Turnage | June 5, 2019 at 4:30 a.m.
FILE — Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, listens to testimony at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor at the state Capitol in Little Rock on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.

[WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Police: Death investigated as homicide after body found outside home owned by former Arkansas senator]

Police responded Tuesday evening to a "suspicious, unattended" death near a Pocahontas residence owned by a former state senator, according to Arkansas State Police and Arkansas property records.

Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell said officers responded to a report of a body just before 5 p.m. Tuesday and asked the state police to aid in the investigation. Bell would not confirm the identity of the body or the manner of death.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said special agents responded to a request for assistance in regards to a body being found outside a residence at 4023 West Arkansas 90 in Pocahontas.

According to Arkansas property records, that parcel is owned by former state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith and her former husband, Philip Smith. Collins-Smith served as a Republican senator for District 19, which includes Independence, Izard, Sharp and portions of Fulton and Randolph counties, from 2015 until this year. Before that, she served in the Arkansas House from 2011 to 2013.

Philip Smith retired as a judge in the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Randolph County, in 2017.

"The Arkansas State Police at this time is not prepared to confirm the identity of this deceased person," Sadler said. "The body will be formally identified by the state Crime Laboratory."

Sadler said the Crime Lab was en route Tuesday evening to pick up the body.

Randolph County Coroner John Paul Thielmier confirmed that his office responded to the West Arkansas 90 address but said he could not disclose the identity of the body or the cause of death.

Metro on 06/05/2019

Print Headline: Body found near home owned by former Arkansas senator

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