LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As North Little Rock police search for a suspect, friends and colleagues are mourning the death of a Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy who was found dead in her car near an apartment complex Friday night. 

On Friday, officers said they arrived at Hemlock Court Apartments at 400 North Palm Street just after 10:30 p.m. to find 26-year-old Ursula Graham dead in a car with visible trauma.

Lieutenant Nicole Nelson with the detention center said Deputy Graham started in February. 

“She was happy and excited about having this job.” Nelson said, “Deputy Graham was loved by Pulaski County and by the community.”

Watch Commander and Lieutenant Charles Allen says on Friday Graham didn’t show up to work and as part of protocol he went to do a welfare check but could not find her. He said that later the same night he got the news of her death. 

“I received a text message from my Major saying they had found Deputy Graham so it was sort of like a punch in the gut,” Allen said. 

Nelson said Graham was a part of her shift and she had to tell her colleagues of Graham’s death. 

“The first day we heard about it she was supposed to be at work with us. I had to go into a shift briefing and tell the shift about the loss of her and we were consoling people all day and crying. It has put a void at the sheriff’s office.” Lt. Nelson adds, “It was the hardest thing I have had to do being employed here.”

Both lieutenants said Graham’s smile brightened up everyone’s day. 

“Her laughter, she brought laughter to others. That’s what she did when she walked in the room. She was always smiling,” Nelson said. 

Nelson adds Graham was also a mother who deeply loved her children and her work ethic was unmatched. 

“She knew that working here she would be able to provide for her kids and she worked hard, she came in for overtime, she volunteered and we could depend on her,” Nelson said. 

She said she hopes the person responsible is quickly arrested and brought to justice. 

“To be honest when I leave the building I’m looking around because I know the person is still out there, it doesn’t provide a sense of security for me knowing she (Graham) was one of us,” Nelson said. 

Police said the nature of the trauma is not being released at this time due to it being a detail of the investigation as it is ongoing. 

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the NLRPD tip line at 501-680-8439 or detectives at 501-771-7167. Those with information can remain anonymous.