CENTRALIA — The Department of Human Services reiterated today their sadness at the loss of a Murray Developmental Center employee and extended their deepest condolences to her/his friends, family and coworkers.

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We confirmed over the weekend that 56-year-old Rick Stewart, of Shattuc was that employee, and that he passed away Aug. 6, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, following an incident while working Third Shift at the Murray Center in Centralia.

DHS Director of Communications Veronica Vera confirmed our reports over the weekend that the events leading up to the Stewart’s death involved a resident of Murray who has since been moved by IDHS staff to Choate Developmental Center at the family’s request.

However, she says that at this time there has been no investigation opened by the Illinois State Police, nor do they anticipate one.

The medical examiner’s office has begun an evaluation but has made no conclusions regarding the death of the employee; the evaluation will take 8-12 weeks.

Friends and family have designed and are selling T-shirts that say “Justice for Rick.” Proceeds from the shirts are going to benefit Stewart’s family.

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