(iexclusivenews) – Samantha Woll, the board president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit, was found stabbed to death outside her home on Saturday morning, according to police.
The motive for the brutal crime is still unknown, and the FBI is assisting the local authorities in the investigation.
A Trail of Blood
The Detroit Police Department said in a statement that officers were called to the scene around 9 a.m. on Saturday, after a passerby reported seeing a person lying on the ground unresponsive.
When they arrived, they followed a trail of blood that led them to Woll’s home, where they found her body with multiple stab wounds.
Samantha Woll was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police said the crime had taken place inside her home, and that they had assigned the case to their homicide unit for further investigation.
Police Chief James White said in a statement that the stabbing was being fully investigated and that no conclusions should be drawn until all the facts are reviewed.
He also asked for the community’s patience and cooperation as the authorities work to find the perpetrator and bring them to justice.
“It is important that no conclusions be drawn until all of the available facts are reviewed,” White said, adding that more information would be released on Sunday.
A Source of Light
Samantha Woll was the board president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, which is located in downtown Detroit and serves as a hub for Jewish life and culture in the city.
The synagogue said in a Facebook post that they were shocked and saddened by her unexpected death, and that she was a source of light and a beacon in her community.
“May her memory be a blessing,” the synagogue said.
Woll was also involved in various political and social causes, and had worked with several prominent figures in Michigan.
Samantha Woll had helped set up and lead the office of Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin during her first term, and had also worked on Attorney General Dana Nessel’s reelection campaign in 2022.
Both Slotkin and Nessel expressed their condolences and praised Woll’s dedication to serving others in their statements.
“Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known. She was driven by her sincere love of her community, state and country,” Nessel said.
Slotkin said Woll had dedicated her short life to building understanding across faiths, and bringing light in the face of darkness.
“She always had a smile on her face, a hug for anyone who needed it, and a passion for making the world a better place,” Slotkin said.
Other leaders who knew Woll also shared their grief and admiration for her.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Woll had worked hard to make Michigan a better place, and that her heart broke for her family and friends.
Mayor Mike Duggan said Woll’s death had left a huge hole in the Detroit community, and that he had celebrated with her the newly renovated synagogue just a few weeks ago.
“This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death,” Duggan said.
A Devastating Loss
Woll’s former coworker MoReno Tayor II, who had worked with her on Nessel’s campaign, told CNN that her death was a devastating loss for everyone who knew her.
He said Samantha Woll was a bright ball of light who lit up every room she walked into, and always gave a firm handshake.
“She didn’t deserve this and I really hope that they find a resolution to this as soon as possible and find whoever is responsible,” he said.
Woll’s death has also sparked concern among some members of the Jewish community, who wonder if it was motivated by anti-Semitism or hate.
The FBI in Detroit said it was assisting the local police in the investigation, but did not provide any details on whether they were looking into any possible bias or hate crime angles.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a statement that they were deeply saddened by Woll’s death, and that they were in contact with law enforcement and community leaders to monitor the situation.
“We urge anyone with information about this horrific crime to contact the Detroit Police Department immediately,” the ADL said.
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit also issued a statement expressing their sorrow and solidarity with Woll’s family and the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue.
“We join them in mourning this terrible loss, and we pray for justice and healing,” the federation said.
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