THAYER, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — A 36-year-old child protection specialist with the Department of Children and Family Services was stabbed to death while performing a home visit in Thayer on Tuesday afternoon. The Sangamon County Coroner’s office performed an autopsy on Wednesday morning, and plans to identify the woman after completing the autopsy.
Six children, ages 1 to 7 years old, were present in the home in the 300 block of West Elm Street, according to Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell. Officers investigated the stabbing in the small rural town just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Police officers from Pawnee, Divernon, Auburn, and deputies from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office all responded to the scene and had to force their way inside the home where they found the victim’s body, but no sign of the suspect.
Later that night, Decatur police took 32-year-old Benjamin Reed into custody in connection with the stabbing. Officers located him at a hospital in Decatur where he was seeking medical treatment for a minor wound. Sangamon County detectives traveled to Decatur and interviewed Reed about the incident. Reed was due in court for a bond hearing Wednesday morning.
Wednesday morning, Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright said his office would file charges soon. Preliminary charges included first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.