Fund Started for Slain Services Worker

The Vermont State Employees Association has established a fund to support the children of a slain Department of Children and Families worker.

Vermont Public Radio reports the fund will support Lara Sobel's two daughters. Police say she was fatally shot in August outside her workplace in Barre by a mother who was upset about losing custody of her child. Jody Herring, 40, has pleaded not guilty to killing Sobel and three relatives. Court documents indicate Herring believed her relatives had reported her to DCF.

Association treasurer Sheila Manchester Coniff, an employee with the Agency of Education, worked in the same building as Sobel and was there the day Sobel was killed.

"State employees feel so helpless, but this is something we can do. It won't bring those girls' mother back, but it might make their lives a little bit easier," she said.

The association plans to pay for a memorial to Sobel at Barre City Place.

Sobel's father, Alex Sobel, said the fund is the latest example of how his daughter's death has brought the community closer together.

"This sense of oneness, strength, and mutual sharing of grief has been evident to all of us from the very onset of this tragedy," he said. "On behalf of myself, my wife and the entire family I would like to express how grateful and appreciative we all are for this outpouring of love and support from everyone." 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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