Barre: A woman who lost custody of her 9-year-old daughter killed three relatives in a Vermont home and then headed to a nearby state office to gun down the social worker involved in the custody case, authorities alleged.
Police said 40-year-old Jody Herring shot social worker Lara Sobel, 48, twice on Friday, killing her outside an office of the state Department for Children and Families in Barre as Sobel was leaving work. Herring was tackled outside the building and arrested on a first-degree homicide charge.
The next morning, an emergency call brought officers to a Berlin home, where they found three relatives of Herring dead. Police said at least two of the women appeared to have been shot.
The Burlington Free Press reported that Tiffany Herring, 23, who identified herself as the daughter of victim Rhonda Herring, said her mother had received a threatening phone call from Jody Herring Friday morning.
"My mother got a call in the morning, maybe 7:30 or 8 o'clock, saying it was Jody Herring saying, 'You guys need to stop calling DCF unless you guys are going to have it coming to you," Tiffany Herring told the newspaper.
She said she discovered the women's bodies.
"Both doors were wide open, and I walked into the living room, and that's where I saw my mom dead," she said. Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier said Sunday he doesn't expect any more bodies will be found in relation to the case. Bombardier said the weapon used to kill Sobel was a hunting rifle, but he would not reveal additional details about it. He also would not comment on whether Jody Herring had obtained the gun legally.
The chief wouldn't comment on what may have triggered Herring to act on Friday weeks after losing custody of her daughter.