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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andrea Blanco

Synagogue leader Samantha Woll’s final text before stabbing death revealed


The grieving sister of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll has revealed her final text before she was stabbed to death over the weekend.

Authorities in Detroit continue investigating 40-year-old Woll’s murder on 21 October as it emerged on Monday that several “persons of interest” are being interviewed by law enforcement.

Detroit Police Chief James White said Woll was attacked inside her home in the Lafayette Park neighbourhood and then stumbled out of her residence before collapsing on the sidewalk, leaving behind a trail of blood that led investigators to the disturbing scene.

Woll, the president at Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, was laid to rest on Sunday during a service with more than 1,000 in attendance, including city and state politicians whom she had worked with. The slain community leader’s sister Monica Woll Rosen delivered a eulogy, sharing with mourners that Woll’s final text was a heart emoji sent to a friend.

“You sent hearts to cheer people up and let them know you’re thinking of them — because you cared,” Ms Woll Rosen said, also revealing that a friend of her late sister had received flowers from her on the day of her death, according to The New York Post.

“That was you, Sam,” Ms Woll Rosen added. “You didn’t even ask. You just sent flowers and signed 10 other people’s names because you knew it would make the receiver happy — and the others would have wanted to say happy birthday if they knew it was your birthday.”

Chief White said during a press conference on Monday that Woll attended a wedding just hours before her death on the evening of Friday. She left shortly after midnight.

Nearly six hours later, at around 6.30am, somebody called 911 reporting an unresponsive person at her home. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Woll’s body.

There was no evidence of forced entry at Woll’s home and there were no signs that she tried to defend herself, Chief White said.

Samantha Woll was stabbed to death at her home over the weekend
— (AP)

The chief said that his agency is working in partnership with the FBI and Michigan State Police and has already identified persons of interest.

“We are working through what we have identified as some persons of interest ... but we are very early in the investigation,” he said, adding that Woll might or might have not known her killer. “We have a number of people who give us interest, we are just short of calling one of the people a suspect.”

A motive in Woll’s murder has yet to be established. Chief White said he is confident the crime was not motivated by anti-Semitism.

Chief White said on Monday that his department is seeking a suspect believed to have acted alone, and noted he doesn’t think there is a threat to the community at large. He also asked the public to be patient and not jump to conclusions as evidence is reviewed and processed.

“We are not in the position to discuss [details,]” Chief White said. “There are certain factors that are only shared by the suspect and our investigators.”

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