An Illinois social worker was stabbed to death during a scheduled home visit last week.
Deidre Silas conducted a home visit in Sangamon County after reports of six young children being endangered. Silas, 36, went to the home to investigate and was reportedly stabbed by 32-year-old Benjamin Reed, who is white according to CBS Chicago. The children ranging in ages one to seven were allegedly in the house but did not witness the crime. The murder took place after 4 p.m. in Thayer, Illinois a city around 20 miles outside of Springfield. The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office told the news outlet that officers responded to the stabbing and had to enter the house forcibly. Silas had already passed away once police arrived on the scene. The children weren’t injured during the attack.
Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director Marc Smith released a statement regarding Silas’ death.
“The Department of Children and Family Services is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague, Deidre Silas. Our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with her family during this difficult time. Social work is more than just a job. It is a calling.”
“Deidre responded to this call and dedicated herself to the children, families and communities she served, and we will be forever grateful for her work,” he continued. “She was an incredible person, and her brightness and positivity will be missed not only by her family and friends but also her second family at DCFS.”
Reed fled the scene but was later apprehended that day in Decatur, a town 60 miles away from where the crime occurred. He was indicted on first-degree murder charges and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a statement regarding Silas’ death.
“Today, the State of Illinois mourns the loss of Deidre Silas, a DCFS caseworker and a hero, taken from us in the line of duty. There is no higher calling than the work to keep children and families safe, and Deidre lived that value every single day. Our most vulnerable are safer because she chose to serve. I can think of no more profound…