As reported by Yahoo
Linda Collins-Smith, a former Arkansas state senator, was found dead in her home on Tuesday. She was 57.
Collins-Smith, who switched from the Democratic party to the Republican party in 2011 during her first term in the Arkansas House, was discovered in her Pocahontas home with a gunshot wound, her former press secretary Ken Yang told KATV.
At this time, it is unclear how, when, or why Collins-Smith was killed, but Yang told the outlet that her neighbors had reportedly heard several gunshots just a day or two before her body was discovered, wrapped in some sort of blanket.
By the time authorities found Collins-Smith, they said her body had already begun to decompose, which made the identification process more difficult, according to the Ark Times.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas State Police are now investigating her death as suspicious, Region 8 News reports. Sheriff Kevin Bell also told the outlet that the public does not appear to be in danger.
Representatives at the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas State Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Shortly after the news of Collins-Smith’s death broke on Tuesday, several political figures and groups expressed their sadness on social media.
The Arkansas GOP confirmed her death on Twitter and spoke to how they would remember Collins-Smith for her “passionate voice for her people.”
“Today, we learned of the untimely death of former Senator Linda Collins-Smith,” they tweeted. “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.”
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