Vigil planned for slain Vermont social worker; suspect also accused in deaths

A lady who misplaced custody of her 9-year-old daughter is “the alleged perpetrator” within the deaths of three kinfolk and accused in a felony cost of then heading to a close-by state workplace and gunning down the social employee concerned within the custody case.


The Vermont State Police said Saturday they are assisting the Berlin Police Department with a death investigation but didn’t provide any additional information.

Herring is being held on a charge of first degree homicide after police said she shot and killed Lara Sobel, a social worker for the state Department of Children and Families.

Shumlin ordered security to be reviewed at state buildings and said Department for Children and Families workers will make only emergency calls only accompanied by law enforcement over the weekend. Herring was arrested on a murder charge in the death of Lara Sobel. She was handling a case in which Herring had lost custody of her daughter who is 9, said authorities.

Shumlin said the investigation into the deaths of Herring’s relatives was ongoing and declined to release any additional information. Police said it appeared two or the three women were shot.

“We know that the incidents were horrific and absolutely heartbreaking”, the governor said after returning early from vacation in Nova Scotia. Sobel was gunned down after work Friday outside a state office building in Barre. According to Gov. Shumlin, Vermont residents are not only horrified and shocked but also grief-stricken after hearing about these killings. “I can’t keep in mind, in my lifetime, 4 individuals being murdered by the identical alleged perpetrator”.

Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier said Sunday he doesn’t expect any more bodies will be found in relation to the case.

Huntley said he did not know Jody Herring because she wasn’t from his side of the family, but the extended family is large throughout central Vermont, and this news dealt a big blow.

Sobel’s household launched a press release thanking the group for its kindness throughout their ordeal and asking others to respect their privateness. They mentioned, however, that Sobel’s death shouldn’t go unnoticed and should help raise awareness of the numerous dedicated professionals whose only goal is that of ensuring the welfare of children.

Washington County’s state’s attorney, Scott Williams, was among the witnesses, so the Vermont Attorney General’s Office is expected to handle the prosecution.

Ken Schatz, the commissioner for the Division for Youngsters and Households, referred to as Sobel’s capturing “a heartbreaking tragedy”.

Sobel, a Vermont DCF employee for more than 14 years, is survived by a husband and two daughters.


A special legislative committee was set up to investigate the department system after the deaths last year of two toddlers who had been involved with DCF, 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon of Poultney and 15-month-old Peighton Geraw of Winooski.

Jody Herring	Barre City Police