Suspect in Fatal Stabbing of Detroit Synagogue Leader Samantha Woll Taken into Custody

Samantha Woll was found stabbed to death outside her home in Lafayette Park, Mich., on Oct. 21

<p>David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP</p> Samantha Woll

David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP

Samantha Woll

An arrest has been made in the October fatal stabbing of Detroit Jewish community leader Samantha Woll.

In a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, Detroit Police Chief James E. White said a suspect, whose identity has not been released publicly, was taken into custody in connection with the 40-year-old's death.

"While this is an encouraging development in our desire to bring closure for Ms. Woll’s family, it does not represent the conclusion of our work in this case," he wrote. "The details of the investigation will remain confidential at this time to ensure the integrity of the important steps that remain."

"Investigators will be continuing their work with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office until the conclusion of this investigation," he added.

Woll was found stabbed to death outside her home in Lafayette Park, Mich., on Oct. 21, PEOPLE reported previously.

At an earlier press briefing, Chief White said Woll, who was president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Detroit Synagogue, "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, White added.

She was pronounced dead at the scene by officials after a witness reported seeing her unresponsive on the ground and called 911.

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

White had 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-Hamas war in the Middle East, according to information from the Department of Homeland Security, ABC News reported.

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The Detroit Free Press reported that Woll worked for Rep. Elissa Slotkin as well as the reelection campaign of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel before she began serving on the board of her synagogue.

Related: Samantha Woll, President of a Detroit Synagogue, Found Stabbed to Death Outside Her Home

Slotkin, who serves Michigan’s seventh congressional district, issued a statement on X 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 last month 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.”

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