*A child welfare worker in Illinois was stabbed to death on January 4 during a home visit and welfare check on six children ages 1 to 7.
Deidre Silas, 36, an investigator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, was killed in the small town of Thayer when she was reportedly attacked by Benjamin H. Reed, 32—who lived at the home, Essence reports.
Here’s more from the outlet:
Shortly after, with a search warrant and collected evidence, police were able to locate Benjamin H. Reed, 32—who lived at the home—at a local hospital being treated for a cut on his hand. Authorities arrested and charged Reed with the murder of Silas. Reed is currently in custody with a bond set at $5 million.
Silas’ family described her as a go-getter who fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. She recently joined the department in August after working in the behavioral health field for seven years at the Department of Juvenile Justice. She is survived by her husband and two children.
Roy Graham knew something was wrong when his daughter’s phone sent him to voicemail, so he did what any dad would do. He tried to find her.
Graham drove to the house his daughter said she’d be investigating for DCFS. It was covered in crime scene tape. Her car was out front. pic.twitter.com/N06T1roQJD
— Jordan Elder (@JordanElderTV) January 6, 2022
“There should be preventative measures in place, and if they can’t use my wife’s example to figure out what they need to do as far as getting that training, getting those protocols in place, then I don’t know what else needs to happen,” Silas’ husband, Andre Silas, stated to reporters.
“Don’t take her death for granted. Use it for information and make sure you guys come up with something to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he added.
Child welfare workers have turned to Facebook to mourn the loss of Deidre and to bring awareness to CPS’s flawed system.
One commenter said, “I worked CPS for 12 years and there were so many dangerous situations and this was before we had cell phones. Going out into a rural county with no protection or way to communicate with anyone was so dangerous but we didn’t have a choice. The stress and my mental health forced me to leave.”
Another wrote,” I’ve made reports for kids who’ve missed half of the school year, kids without food, kids who’ve reported being beaten or sexually assaulted by a family member. Maybe 1/4 gets investigated. That’s an indication of how bad it is out there!”
The victim’s family has launched a GoFundMe.