The Vermont State Police agency is investigating the deaths of three women who have been identified as relatives of a woman arrested in association with the fatal shooting of a state social worker in Barre Friday afternoon, the Associated Press reported. The bodies of the victims were discovered at a home in nearby Berlin Saturday morning.
The three victims were all related to Jody Herring, who allegedly shot and killed Lara Sobel, the social worker. Two of the victims appeared to have been shot, according to police.
Authorities discovered the bodies of the victims after concerned relatives called to say that they were unable to reach them at the home, WCAX-TV in Burlington reported.
The day before, Herring purportedly gunned down Sobel after the social worker left work in Barre, about four miles away from Berlin. Sobel reportedly had worked on a case for the state Department for Children and Families that resulted in Herring’s daughter being removed from her home. Police said Herring was distraught after losing custody of the child. A memorial was set up in honor of Sobel Saturday.
The Mayor, acting Governor and Vermont State Police preparing to speak on shooting of a DCF worker in Barre. pic.twitter.com/vAUWGNjmnS
— Alex Rose (@AlexRoseNews) August 8, 2015
Police are investigating whether there is a connection between the deaths of the Berlin victims and the Barre victim, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement cited by AP.
“The Vermont State Police are working collaboratively with the Barre and Berlin police departments, and the investigation remains ongoing,” Shumlin said. He added that there is no indication of a broader threat to state employees or the general public and that “the tragedy that has gripped our state over the past 20 hours is immense.”
More information, including the names of the victims, is expected soon. The governor said he plans to hold a press conference at the Barre City Public Safety Complex Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.