DETROIT — A Detroit synagogue president was found stabbed to death outside her home Saturday, police said. The motive wasn’t known.
Emergency medical personnel declared the woman, identified in a statement from Mayor Mike Duggan as Samantha Woll, dead at the scene, Cpl. Dan Donakowski said.
“While at the scene, police officers observed a trail of blood leading officers to the victim’s residence, which is where the crime is believed to have occurred,” Donakowski said.
Woll, 40, had led the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue since 2022 and was a former aide to Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin and campaign staffer for Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Police have not identified a possible motive and are investigating, the Free Press reported.
Police found Woll around 6:30 a.m. after someone called to alert them of a person lying on the ground unresponsive, the Free Press reported.
Detroit Police Chief James E. White said the killing has left many unanswered questions, and he asked the public to be patient as investigators examine all available evidence.
“Over the course of the last several hours, the DPD has mobilized many of its resources and has been leveraging every law enforcement and community resource it has to help further the investigation,” White said in a statement released Saturday night. “An update on the investigation will be forthcoming tomorrow.”
In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Woll’s death was heartbreaking.
“She was a source of light, a beacon in her community who worked hard to make Michigan a better place,” the governor said.
Michigan State Police were assigned to support the Detroit Police Department in the investigation, Whitmer said.
Nessel issued a statement on X, formerly Twitter, saying she was “shocked, saddened and horrified.”
“Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known,” Nessel said. “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.”
Slotkin also commented on X, saying she was “heartbroken at this news.”
Duggan issued a statement saying he was “devastated” to learn of Woll’s death.
“Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community,” the mayor said. “This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death.”