8:15 PM
Sandra Maxine Dobbs

A murder suspect from Fort Smith, Arkansas who was arrested in Branson is now back in Arkansas and has been arraigned for first-degree murder for the death of her cousin.

Authorities in Branson learned that Sandra Maxine Dobbs was in the ER of Skaggs Hospital with injuries to her hand, blood on her glasses, and seemed confused. Dobbs told hospital staff she'd driven to the hospital in a car she'd awakened in, but she didn't know whose car it was, and she didn't know who she was, police said.

According to the arrest affidavit, when Dobbs checked herself into the hospital early Wednesday morning, she appeared to have blood on her glasses and in and around her fingernails. She had a cut on her arm and other wounds. She also had 54 year-old Rita Collins' driver's license in her back pocket.

Rita Collins was found stabbed to death in her Ft . Smith home Tuesday morning after she didn't show up for her shift at Lowe's. Scrawled in blood on the carpet near the dead woman's body lay the words....cousin....cousin....Maxie.

Authorities weren't sure what the message meant until they got a call from the Branson PD early Wednesday morning. Fort Smith police Cpl. Steven Dooly says, "We needed to eliminate absolutely every possibility, like who may have written the message, and just what exactly it meant. Thankfully a call from the hospital helped us put the pieces together fairly quickly."

Neighbors told authorities that they had seen a gray station wagon at Collins' home about 6 a.m. the day the woman was found murdered. When Dobbs was taken into custody she had been driving a similar vehicle when she arrived at the hospital in Missouri.

According to the affidavit, when detectives from Fort Smith arrived to take a statement from Dobbs, she said she knew why they were there and stated, "I'm suspected of killing somebody."

Dobbs waived extradition back to Arkansas and is being held in the Sebastian County jail on $1 million dollars bond.


Unknown said...

Sounds like this woman has some severe problems. I hope the jury sees it that way and puts her away so she can't harm any one else. GSD

ritasfriend said...

Rita was a beautiful person. Does anyone know when there will be a trial?

Kathee Baird said...

I'm sorry, I don't know. I will try and find out, however AR courts are tough to deal with at times.