Sheriff: Christmas Day killings near Atkins was murder-suicide


POPE COUNTY, Ark. – Investigators say they believe that a Christmas Day death investigation near Atkins involving five deaths is a case of murder-suicide.

Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones released a statement Monday evening outlining the details of the case and investigators’ conclusions.

The sheriff also identified the victims of the incident as 7-year-old Danielle Collins, 10-year-old

Levenah Countryman, 12-year-old Abigail Heflin, 31-year-old Jaquita Chase and 61-year-old Patricia Patrick.

Jones asked community members to keep the family in their prayers and thanked the public for the shows of support.

“While all loss of life is heartbreaking, this situation has been particularly tragic” he said. “Anytime children are senselessly taken from those who love them, the pain is beyond compare.  When you add to that the loss of the adults involved, the pain is unfathomable.”

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation into this case, with assistance from the Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas State Police, Atkins Police Department, Fifth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, Pope County Coroner’s Office, Pottsville Police Department and Russellville Police Department.

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