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Community shocked by death of roller rink owner | News

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Community shocked by death of roller rink owner

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - He was beloved by kids and their parents and now the Conway community is mourning the loss of Larry Billings.

For years, he's been the man behind the Conway Roller Rink on East Oak Street. But Monday night, authorities found him dead, shot in the head, at his home.

Right now, authorities are investigating this case as a homicide. There are no solid leads yet on a motive or any suspects. But one thing that's clear is the impact Billings leaves behind.

"A bunch of people told me about the statuses and yeah it was sad," Savannah Troutman said.

Ronald Troutman and his two daughters, Savannah and Brianna, all knew Billings from plenty of visits to the Conway Roller Rink.

"He'd give you a hug and say his name to you and he would talk to you a lot," Brianna Troutman said.

Striking a chord with kids, Larry Billings made parents feel safe about dropping off their kids at the rink.

"If anything happened, I know he'd call me and he'd let me know and if anything happened and he couldn't get a hold of me, he'd treat them just like his own kids," Ronald Troutman said.

Billings was a man special to this family and even the sheriff's office investigating this case.     

"Any time you talked to him he was real friendly, and as far as I know, he didn't have any enemies to do something to this effect," Lt. Matt Rice said.

Lt. Matt Rice says that they found Billings at his home Monday evening. He was shot in the head and his 2007 blue Nissan Titan was missing.

"The big thing is going to be the vehicle, when we find that vehicle that will probably tell us a lot," Lt. Rice said.  

So far the investigation shows there was no forced entry at the home or a struggle by Billings. But beyond that, there are no real answers to a homicide case that's taking its toll on roller rink regulars.  

"It was shocking, like I almost like burst into tears when I first heard about it," Savannah Troutman said.

The Troutmans also said they plan to remember Billings well beyond placing a "Rest in Peace" sign out front.   

"I think I will and every time I skate I will think of him," Brianna Troutman said.

Off camera, we talked with the owner of a neighboring bowling alley, Pat Allen. Allen described Billings as a nice guy who saw generations of families come through during his almost 30 years running the rink.

We also found out there's been a Facebook tribute page set up for Billings, which had more than 1,100 'likes' within one day.


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