SANGAMON COUNTY, Ill. (TCD) -- A man is in custody after a 36-year-old Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) specialist was fatally stabbed during a home visit Tuesday.
According to WAND-TV, several law enforcement agencies responded to a call regarding a possible stabbing in Thayer. Pawnee Police reportedly arrived on scene along with Auburn and Divernon Police and Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputies. Officials reportedly found what looked like blood near the front door and forced their way inside the residence, where they found the victim. WGN-TV reports the DCFS worker was conducting a home visit when she was stabbed.
NPR Illinois reports the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office named 32-year-old Benjamin Reed as the suspect. They located him at a hospital in Decatur and took him into custody.
According to WGN, there were reportedly six children ages 1 to 7 in the home in the 300 block of Elm Street at the time of the stabbing. They are reportedly in DCFS custody.
DCFS Director Mark Smith told WGN, "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. 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."
NPR Illinois reports Gov. J.B. Pritzker wrote in a statement, "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."
His note continued, "I can think of no more profound legacy. MK and I send our deepest condolences to her colleagues at DCFS, her family, and all who loved her."
The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing charges, WCIA-TV reports.