Mom charged in social worker's murder; suspected of killing cousins, aunt
Jody Herring (Photo: AP)

A Vermont mother is suspected of killing three of her own relatives before gunning down a social worker in a child-custody dispute.

Jody Herring, 40, allegedly shot Lara Sobel with a hunting rifle on Friday afternoon outside a state office building. Herring is suspected of killing two of her cousins and an aunt hours earlier.

  • Sobel had been working on the case in which Herring lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter. Herring's daughter remains in state custody.

Herring was reportedly tackled to the ground and held until police officers arrived and arrested her, according to the New York Daily News.

  • Three of Herring's female relatives -- an aunt and two cousins -- were discovered dead at a residence in Berlin, Vt., Saturday morning.

  • The three relatives were tentatively identified as Rhonda Herring, 48, and Regina Herring, 43, and Julie Ann Falzarano, an aunt in her 70s. They were all shot. Rhonda's daughter, Tiffany Herring, found the bodies, according to the New York Daily News. She told the Burlington Free Press that Jody threatened Rhonda for calling child services.

Sobel was "an experienced social worker …. providing public service for children and families for more than 14 years," said Ken Schatz, the commissioner for the Vermont Department for Children and Families.

Jody Herring was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.

Sources: WRGB, Burlington Free Press, New York Post, New York Daily News