RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - It was a shock to everyone when Linda Collins was found dead one year ago today. KAIT spoke to two people who worked close to Collins about how much she means to them and to the community she served.
“[Linda] was always a mentor, but she was also always a friend,” Ken Yang, the spokesman for the family of Linda Collins said.
Linda Collins served as a State Representative, then a State Senator, but beyond that, she was a mother and a friend to everyone she met. Talking with those who worked with Collins, they say she never met a stranger.
“If you called her - anyone in her district, or even outside of her district would call her - she would be willing to help,” Yang said.
“She was a friend to anybody and she was willing to give you a hug," Family Council Administrative Assistant Erin Hogan said. "It didn’t matter if you didn’t know her or not, she was willing to pass out those hugs.”
“She would just not be dealing with the pandemic well at all not being able to hug on people, and that’s who she was," Yang added.
Both Yang and Hogan worked with Collins and both of them say she was a mentor to them. They each mentioned her willingness to serve her community, both in and out of office, including the 2017 flood in Pocahontas and Randolph County.
“One of the only legislators that I saw at that time was Linda," Hogan, a former Pocahontas resident, said. "She served day and night, I can tell you, and she served that way, whether there was flooding or not.”
“Most politicians would be concerned with re-election or the race," Yang said. "But, she just put everything on pause and she was more concerned about the flooding in her community.”
Yang and Hogan say that Collins was all about giving back to the community and helping those in need. They say her legacy will live on.
“I am now able to do the things I’m doing because of Linda and make an impact," Hogan said. "She’s still living through me, through her kids, [and] through all the people that she influenced.”
“Pray for the family, remember Linda’s legacy, but also pray for justice for Linda Collins,” Yang added.
As for an update on the trial, the next court hearing on the murder of Collins will be held June 12.