KEY POINTS

  • Deidre Silas was fatally stabbed Tuesday
  • The police arrested the suspect identified as Benjamin Reed
  • Reed was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint

An Illinois Child welfare worker has been allegedly fatally stabbed during a welfare check at a house with six children.

Deidre Silas, an investigator with the state Department of Children and Family Services, was stabbed while responding to a report of children in danger at the residence in Thayer on Tuesday, The State Journal-Register reported. 

The police have arrested Benjamin Reed, a 32-year-old resident at the home 36-year-old Silas was visiting, on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint.

The emergency officers, who responded to the report of the incident at around 4.11 p.m., forced their way into the home, and found the victim dead inside the house with "multiple sharp force injuries and blunt force trauma." The investigators determined Reed as the suspect and traced him from a hospital where he was treated for a cut on the hand.

 The officials have not revealed the nature of the report Silas was responding to. It was unclear if any of the children aged 1 to 7 have witnessed the assault. Reed was believed to be related to at least one of the children at the residence, according to reports. 

All the children remain safe and were in protective custody as of Wednesday, Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said, the New York Post reported.

Silas worked with the Department of Juvenile Justice for seven years before joining the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) last August. She worked on cases in Sangamon and Christian counties.

"A hero was taken from us in the line of duty," Gov. JB Pritzker said mourning Silas's death.

 "Social work is more than just a job, it is a calling. 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," DCFS Director Marc Smith said.

"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," Smith added.

A court has set Reed's bond at $5 million.

arrested1 Representation. Photo: Pixabay