An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigator has been killed in the line of duty, according to officials.
Deidre Silas, a DCFS worker based in Springfield, was killed while performing her job, the department said in a letter to workers.
"As you know, social work is more than just a job, it is a calling. Deidre responded to this call and dedicated herself to the children, families and communities she served. She was an incredible person, and her brightness and positivity will be missed by not only her family and friends, but also her second family at DCFS," DCFS said in the letter.
DCFS said the department will announce plans regarding a funeral or memorial services once available. At this time, DCFS has not released further details on the case.
“The Department of Children and Family Services is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague, Deidre Silas. Our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers are with her family during this very difficult time. Social work is more than just a job, it is a calling. Deidre responded to this call and dedicated herself to the children, families and communities she served, and we will be forever grateful for her work. She was an incredible person, and her brightness and positivity will be missed not only by her family and friends, but also her second family at DCFS," department director Marc Smith said in a statement.
In Springfield, DCFS clinical staff will be available in person or through video chat to those who after experiencing "difficult emotions" due to the death, the department said.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statement on Silas' death Wednesday, calling the DCFS worker a hero.
“Today, the State of Illinois mourns the loss of Deidre Silas, a DCFS caseworker and a hero, taken from us in the line of duty. There is no higher calling than the work to keep children and families safe and Deidre lived that value every single day. Our most vulnerable are safer because she chose to serve. I can think of no more profound legacy. MK and I send our deepest condolences to her colleagues at DCFS, her family, and all who loved her," Pritzker said in a statement.