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Flags lowered to honor slain Illinois child welfare worker

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Flags at Illinois state office buildings were lowered
for three days to honor a child welfare worker who was stabbed to death this month.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered that U.S. and Illinois flags be set at half-staff begin- ning at sunrise Thursday

in honor of Deidre Silas, a child protection specialist for the Department of Chil- dren and Family Services. Flags were to be returned to their traditional spot at sunset Saturday.

Silas, 36, was respond- ing to a call about possibly endangered children at a home in Thayer, south of Springfield, on Jan. 5.

She was met at the door by an assailant who stabbed her and fled, according to authorities.

Benjamin Reed, 32, has been charged with first- degree murder, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint. Officials said Reed lived in the home and was related to one or more of the seven children residing there.

He is being held without bond in the Sangamon County Jail.

Silas, who for years worked with troubled chil- dren in the Department of Juvenile Justice, had just joined DCFS last summer. Family members said that even as a teenager she had volunteered to work with children.

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