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Mom Kills Social Services Worker After Losing Custody of Daughter

© Flickr / Doug KerrDowntown Barre, Vermont
Downtown Barre, Vermont - Sputnik International
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After losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter, a Vermont woman fatally shot the child-welfare agency employee who worked her case.

Jody Herring shot Lara Sobel, an employee with the Department for Children and Families, on Friday outside a Barre, Vt., office building that houses the DCF. Herring was then detained by people in and around the building, according to police.

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Barre City Mayor Thom Lauzan called Sobel’s death a tragedy for Vermont and praised the commitment of DCF employees for working "out of their dedication to the children and families of this great state."

He added, "To lose one of our own in the course of that duty is shocking and heartbreaking."

DCF employees were told to report to homes this weekend only in emergency cases and with law-enforcement escorts.

The new child safety law emphasizes protecting children in state custody by securing their well being rather than returning them to their families.

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A special legislative committee is investigating the state child-welfare system following last year’s deaths of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon, of Poultney; and 15-month-old Peighton Geraw, of Winooski. Both were involved with the DCF.

Murder charges are pending against Dezirae's stepfather and Peighton's mother, who have pleaded not guilty.

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