Samantha Woll case update: ‘Stranger’ charged with murder of Detroit synagogue leader

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Written By Maya Cantina

Police have charged a suspect with the murder of a Detroit synagogue leader and alleged she was killed by a stranger who broke into her home. 

Samantha Woll, 40, was fatally stabbed at her Lafayette Park home on October 21 as she returned from a wedding. 

Police believe she was attacked inside her home before stumbling outside. She was found at around 6.30am and pronounced dead at the scene. 

Michael Jackson-Bolanos, 28, from Detroit was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with her murder and two other crimes. 

Prosecutor Kym Worthy claimed there was not a ‘shred of evidence’ that she was killed as a result of antisemitism or any hate crime.

Authorities filed a murder charge Wednesday in the October slaying of a Detroit synagogue leader, alleging that she was killed by a stranger who broke into her home. 

Woll was stabbed several times and left a trail of blood which led to her home. It was initially feared she was killed in a hate crime. 

But authorities have dispelled these and say there is no evidence she was killed due to antisemitism. 

‘There are no facts to suggest this defendant knew Ms. Woll,’ Worthy said.

Police said a person of interest was in custody over the weekend. A different person who was in custody was released in November.

‘This was an extraordinarily sad and tragic case,’ Worthy said. He added, ‘This takes time. We never want to rush to judgment.’

The Wayne County public defenders office did not immediately respond to whether it is representing the suspect and had comment on his case. 

Woll was president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. Besides her work for the synagogue, Woll had worked for Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and on the political campaign of state Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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