Cops: Social Worker Killed by Mom Who Lost Custody

Jody Herring to be arraigned in the death of Lara Sobel, a 14-year veteran of DCF
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2015 3:16 PM CDT
Cops: Social Worker Killed by Mom Who Lost Custody
Authorities investigate the scene of multiple deaths at a farmhouse in Berlin, Vermont, on Aug. 8, 2015.   (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

A Vermont woman who lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter last month fatally shot the social worker involved in her case yesterday, say Barre City police. Now Jody Herring could be implicated in the shooting deaths of three of her relatives, the Burlington Free Press reports. Herring allegedly shot Vermont Department for Children and Families worker Lara Sobel twice with what police say was a "fairly high caliber hunting rifle" as Sobel left work Friday. The Free Press reports witnesses tackled Herring and held her until police arrived on the scene; she's expected to be charged with homicide on Monday. Sobel, a 14-year veteran of DCF, was married with two daughters. Herring's daughter has been in state custody since July 10.

The case took a possible darker twist this morning when three relatives of Herring's were discovered dead in a farmhouse 12 miles from Barre City, the Free Press reports. The victims are Herring's cousins Rhonda and Regina and their mother, Julie Ann Folzorano. Rhonda's daughter—who discovered the bodies, which she says were shot—tells the paper Herring called the Berlin farmhouse Friday morning and threatened the women if they didn't stop talking to DCF. Police aren't saying much yet. The New York Daily News reports the child-safety law recently changed in Vermont and now emphasizes the child's well-being over reuniting the child with his or her family. (Read more crime stories.)

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