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Detroit synagogue president found stabbed to death outside home

Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue

(DETROIT) — The president of a Detroit synagogue was found stabbed to death outside her home Saturday morning, police and the synagogue said.

The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue put out a statement later in the afternoon identifying the victim as board president Samantha Woll.

Detroit police responded to a 911 call of an unresponsive person around 6:30 a.m. and found a body outside a home on Joliet Place. The woman, who was not immediately identified by investigators had suffered multiple stab wounds, police said.

“At this point, we do not have more information, but will share more when it becomes available. May her memory be a blessing,” the synagogue said in a Facebook post.

The police did not have any information on a possible motive behind the killing, which is being investigated as a homicide.

“Police officers observed a trail of blood leading officers to the victim’s residence, which is where the crime is believed to have occurred,” the police said in a statement.

The investigation is ongoing.

Woll’s death comes as law enforcement agencies across the country are warning of increased anti-Semitic threats in light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Woll had a long career in local politics and worked with several elected officials over the years, according to her LinkedIn page.

She recently served as the political director for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s re-election campaign.

Nessel released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, expressing shock at Woll’s murder.

“Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known. 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,” Nessel said in her post which included a photo of Woll.

Woll also worked as a deputy district director for U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., who also released a statement on X following her death.

“She did for our team as Deputy District Director what came so naturally to her: helping others & serving constituents. Separately, in politics & in the Jewish community, she dedicated her short life to building understanding across faiths, bringing light in the face of darkness,” Slotkin said.

Other Michigan elected officials also expressed their condolences.

“Decades ago, I shared a day of joy with Sam at the dedication of the newly renovated Downtown Synagogue. It was a project she successfully led with great pride and enthusiasm. Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement to ABC affiliate WXYZ.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Detroit Police’s Homicide section at 313-596-2260.

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