Detroit police REFUSE to name suspect arrested for murder of Jewish synagogue leader Samantha Woll – but say they’re at ‘critical juncture’ in the case
- Detroit Police running out of time to charge or release suspect in custody over the murder of the popular synagogue president
- ‘Investigators are at a critical juncture in this case and are working tirelessly toward bringing this matter to closure’ police say
- Police chief James E White has ruled out a hate crime but insists they have to be ‘very, very careful’ about what information they can release
Police investigating the murder of Detroit synagogue president Samantha Woll say they are at a ‘critical juncture’ as time runs out to charge their suspect.
Woll, 40, was found stabbed to death outside her downtown home on October 21, hours after returning from a friend’s wedding in the north of the city.
Police promised ‘transparency’ in their investigation and refuted rumors that the popular Jewish activist had been the victim of an Anti-Semitic attack.
But they have refused to name the suspect they arrested on Wednesday and have just hours left to charge or release them before the 48-hour custody limit expires.
‘At this time, the details of the investigation must remain confidential including the name of the suspect,’ the department tweeted at 3.39pm on Thursday.
Tributes poured in for the synagogue president, who was known for her work building bridges between the local Jewish and Muslim communities
Police chief James E White has ruled out a hate crime but insists they have to be ‘very, very careful’ about what information they can release
Woll, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene after being found by a passer-by outside her home in the downtown Lafayette district with multiple stab wounds
‘Investigators are at a critical juncture in this case and are working tirelessly toward bringing this matter to closure.
‘An update will be provided as soon as possible.’
Police believe Woll was stabbed multiple times inside her Lafayette Park home but crawled into the street where she was found dead at 6.30am, leaving a trail of blood behind her.
A source told Detroit’s Local 4 that the arrested suspect is a male who has been moved from Kalamazoo to a jail in Wayne County.
Police have confirmed that there were no signs of forced entry at Woll’s home and she was found with her wallet and phone on her.
But police chief James E White would not confirm whether she left the wedding alone explaining that they are being ‘very, very careful’ about what information they share.
‘A suspect has been taken into custody for the murder of Samantha Woll,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘While this is an encouraging development in our desire to bring closure for Ms. Woll’s family, it does not represent the conclusion of our work in this case.
Michigan Attorney General Danal Nessel paid a heartbreaking tribute to Woll (pictured together), where she said the Jewish leader was ‘as kind a person as I’ve ever known’
Samantha Woll, 40, was head of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022, and was known for her work with several Democratic politicians including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin
Woll had appeared in Detroit Jewish News ‘ ’36 under 36’ list in 2017, where she was noted as a ‘social justice and political activist’
The Jewish leader’s body was discovered outside her home in the downtown area of Detroit, after police followed a trail of blood to her property
‘The details of the investigation will remain confidential at this time to ensure the integrity of the important steps that remain.’
Woll had been president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue since 2022, and was known for her work with several Democratic politicians including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin.
Tributes quickly poured in for the unmarried activist, who was noted for her work building bridges between the Jewish and Muslim communities, as her synagogue expressed shock at her sudden ‘unexpected’ passing.
‘At this point we do not have more information, but will share more when it becomes available,’ her synagogue said.
‘May her memory be a blessing.’
Woll was named in the Detroit Jewish News’ ’36 under 36′ list in 2017, which described her as a ‘social justice and political activist’.
‘She was instrumental in the founding of the Muslim-Jewish Forum of Detroit — a grassroots collective of young adults of both faiths who gather in partnership to learn, celebrate and build community together,’ the glowing profile read.
She was praised for helping ‘to build and deepen important relationships’ between local Jewish and Muslim communities, where she hosted ‘revolutionary events, including an Interfaith Iftar dinner welcoming Syrian refugees.’
‘By extending her hand and creating space for connection between Muslims and Jews, she has exemplified the values of healing the world.’
Michigan has one of the largest Muslim populations per capita in the United States, according to the World Population Review.
Investigators have not indicated any link to the conflict in the Middle East, however her murder came just days after US Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that Muslim and Jewish people are at an increased risk of threats and hate crimes due to the situation.
In a heart-wrenching funeral speech from her younger sister, Woll was commemorated, in the wake of her shocking death, for being selfless and loving.
There was ‘literally not anyone more caring or thoughtful than you,’ said her sister Monica.
The casket of Samantha Woll was loaded into a hearse after the funeral service at the Hebrew Memorial Chapel on October 22
‘If someone complimented something of yours you would take it off and give it to them. Your soul was beautiful and pure – you never said no, but ‘how can I help?’
‘You loved my kids as your own … you were my older sister, you taught me, protected me, loved me with all your heart,’ she said.
‘You so deeply wanted peace for this world. You fought for everyone, regardless of who they were, or were they came from. Your last text message was to a friend – just a heart, to cheer them up.
‘Sam I feel like I’m about to wake up from a horrible nightmare, and you will be hugging me and holding me. This was not supposed to happen.’
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