Illinois child welfare worker fatally stabbed during home visit

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Illinois child welfare worker fatally stabbed during home visit

An Illinois child welfare worker was stabbed to death as she conducted a visit at a home with six children, authorities said.

Benjamin Reed, 32, has been arrested over the attack on 36-year-old Deidre Silas after she entered his Thayler home alone for the welfare check on Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities haven’t revealed why Silas — who was an investigator for the state Department of Children and Family Services — was carrying out the checks, or whether there was any known threats at the home.

Reed, who is believed to be related to at least one of the children, was taken into custody just hours after the stabbing when cops found him at a nearby hospital.

He was being treated for a cut to his hand, Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said.

It wasn’t clear if any of the kids witnessed the violence inside the home — but all of them were in protective custody as of Wednesday, the sheriff said.

DCFS Director Marc Smith said the agency trains its staff in how to approach various situations, including going into a volatile environment.

Benjamin Reed.
Benjamin Reed was taken into custody not long after the stabbing when cops found him at a nearby hospital.
Sangamon County Detention Facility

He added that staff members decide whether to go alone, in pairs or ask for police assistance.

“In this tragic circumstance, the family we were there to help had a negative response to our presence,” Smith said.

“We’re not avoiding any responsibility. We take responsibility for all of our staff, as well as the children and families that we serve. We will continue to work, we will continue to improve our policies and procedures as we can.”

Deidre Graham Silas.
It’s unclear as to why Silas had been conducting the check.
Facebook/Deidre Graham (Silas)

Silas had only just joined the department last August after working for seven years in the behavioral health field at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Reed is facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint over Silas’ death.

He is being held on a $5 million bond.

With Post wires

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