Police Are Investigating 'Persons of Interest' in Fatal Stabbing of Synagogue Leader

Samantha Woll, 40, was found dead on Saturday morning outside her home

<p>Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue/Facebook</p> Samantha Woll

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue/Facebook

Samantha Woll

Authorities are investigating "persons of interest" in connection with the fatal stabbing of Jewish community leader Samantha Woll who died over the weekend, Detroit Chief James E. White said on Monday.

They are continuing their investigation as they follow a "lot of evidence and information that has to be analyzed" surrounding her death, White said at the press briefing.

Woll, president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, was found stabbed to death outside her home in Lafayette Park, Mich., on Saturday morning, PEOPLE reported previously.

White said on Monday that they believe the 40-year-old religious leader "stumbled" out and "collapsed" outside her home after being stabbed inside, leaving a trail of blood. She was on the street for "quite a while" before being discovered, he added.

Officials pronounced Woll dead at the scene after they found her body with multiple stab wounds after a witness reported seeing her unresponsive on the ground and called 911.

<p>Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue/Facebook</p>

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue/Facebook

The Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue confirmed her death in a Facebook post on Saturday, writing: “We are shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Samantha Woll, our Board President.”

White said Woll's death "was not motivated by antisemitism" and that her killer “acted alone." Woll’s death came at a time of heightened fear of antisemitic attacks following the Israel-Palestine war in the Middle East, according to information from the Department of Homeland Security, ABC News reported.

Woll was returning from a wedding where she was her “normal positive and pleasant self," according to witnesses.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Woll worked for Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on her reelection campaign before she served on the board of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue.

Slotkin, who serves Michigan’s seventh congressional district, issued a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) in response to the synagogue’s announcement of Woll’s death.

“I and all of Team Slotkin is heartbroken at this news,” Slotkin, 47, wrote. “Sam worked for me from nearly the moment I became a Congresswoman, helping us set up the office & helping to lead it for my full first term.”

Nessel shared a photo of her and Woll together, writing on X, “I am shocked, saddened and horrified to learn of Sam’s brutal murder."

"Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known," Nessel, 54, continued. "She was driven by her sincere love of her community, state and country. Sam truly used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement on X on Sunday he was “devastated” to hear about the death of one of Detroit’s “great young leaders.”

“Just weeks ago, I shared a day of joy with Sam at the dedication of the newly renovated Downtown Synagogue,” Duggan added. “It was a project she successfully led with great pride and enthusiasm.”

Following the attack, Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York’s 16th Congressional District, wrote on X that he was “sick to my stomach to hear about the stabbing death.”

“As they investigate this horrific crime, I reiterate my call that we MUST focus on our humanity and look to love one another,” Bowman pleaded after noting some of her accomplishments.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

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