Two former GOP state senators and two veteran police officers have been found dead from a gunshot within a span of two days.
53-year-old Former Oklahoma state Sen. Jonathan Nichols was found dead inside his home in Norman Wednesday night from an apparent gunshot Wound, police said. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office is currently determining the exact cause and manner of death.
Police said the case is under investigation.
Nichols’ death comes just one day after 56-year-old former Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith was found fatally sHot outside her home in Pocahontas Tuesday. Police are investigating her death as a homicide.
Police could not identify Collins-Smith’s body until Thursday because it had considerably decomposed. It’s not known how long she had been dead when her body was discovered, but her former press secretarY Ken Yang said Collins-Smith was found shot to death and wrapped in a blanket and that her neighbors said they heard gunshots a day or two earlier.
Both Nichols and Collins-Smith were Republicans. However, Collins-Smith started out as a Democrat when she was first elected to the Arkansas state Senate in 2010 and switched parties in 2011.
Collins-Smith represented the 19th district in Arkansas from 2014 until 2019. She lost her party’s primary last year.
Judge seals investigative files
A judge sealed the investigative files in the killing of former Arkansas senator Linda Collins-Smith.
The Randolph County prosecuting attorney’s office announced Wednesday that Circuit Judge Harold Erwin had sealed documents and statements obtained by police.
The Randolph County sheriff’s office issued a brief statement on the case Wednesday. But they did not answer any questions:
Arkansas and Oklahoma lie side-by-side, with a distance of under 500 miles between Pocahontas, Ark., and Norman, Okla., where the deaths occurred.
Two Veteran Police Officers died Wednesday and Thursday.
The officers had a combined experience of almost 80 years and decided to take their lives according to police.
On Wednesday, the body of Deputy Chief Steven J. Silks, 62, was found shortly before sunset near Forest Hills Stadium and the precinct station house where he worked. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the police said.
Deputy Chief Steven J. Silks:
Detective Joseph Calabrese:
Stunned by the death of the police chief, the department found itself the next day searching for missing detective, Joseph Calabrese, 58, after his empty vehicle was found beside the Belt Parkway near a beach. A massive search was launched by air and sea — with helicopters, divers and about 100 officers — before the detective’s body was found Thursday afternoon near Plumb Beach.
Both men had spent decades with the Police Department; Chief Silks for 38 years, Detective Calabrese, 37 years. It is unclear whether they knew one another. Chief Silks had just put in his retirement paperwork. He faced mandatory retirement before his 63rd birthday next month.
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