Police arrest suspect in murder of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll

Posted at 3:05 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 20:38:52-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Department Chief James White said a suspect has been taken into custody for the murder of Samantha Woll, the president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue.

In a statement on Wednesday, White said:

"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," White said. "The details of the investigation will remain confidential at this time to ensure the integrity of the important steps that remain."

Woll was found dead outside of her townhome on Joliet Place in Detroit's Lafayette Park neighborhood early in the morning on Saturday, Oct. 21. Police say she was stabbed inside the home, and then they believe she stumbled outside and collapsed where her body was found.

In an update on Oct. 23, White said they had a number of persons of interest but didn't call any of them a suspect.

The suspect was arrested in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Detroit police exploring persons of interest in murder of Samantha Woll

White reiterated that the information they have right now leads them to believe the murder was not motivated by anti-Semitism and the suspect acted alone, adding the department believes there are no other groups or anyone at risk. He also said there was no sign of forced entry into her townhome.

According to White, the motivation for the crime appears "very different from a hate crime" based on the information the department had.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Samantha Woll, our Board President," the Synagogue said in a statement posted to Facebook. "At this point we do not have more information, but will share more when it becomes available. May her memory be a blessing."

Woll was also on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council and the American Jewish Committee.

“She truly believed in repairing the world around her, making the world a better place... Detroit is better, the world is better because Sam Woll was in it," said Sam Dubin, assistant director at JCRC/AJC.