A suspect arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a prominent Jewish community leader was released after cops did not file the necessary paperwork, prosecutors have confirmed. The revelation, offered this week by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, comes almost a month after 40-year-old Samantha Woll (pictured left) was found stabbed to death outside her Detroit home, spurring an investigation that led to the suspect’s arrest. On Friday, after being held for 72 hours, the suspect was released – days after the city’s police chief announced to reporters they had taken in a person of interest, without specifying what led to their arrest.
A dayslong interrogation ensued, culminating with the suspect being cut loose. The decision was reportedly made after the suspect made an ‘ambiguous’ statement to cops – one that sources told The Detroit News was not enough to warrant charges. A warrant was never filed, and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office’s hands were left tied. A spokesperson for the office confirmed the situation in a brief statement. ‘There is nothing before us,’ Maria Miller told Fox News of the absence of a warrant request – something already claimed last week by the suspect’s attorneys.
‘This must happen before we can review the case for a charging decision,’ Miller further explained, citing longstanding legal practices in place in every state. ‘Until then, it is entirely a police open investigation that they are continuing to work on,’ she added. Meanwhile, not a single charge has been filed, meaning the suspect – in addition to being back on the street – can go unnamed. When asked, cops would not provide an update on the status of their increasingly lengthy investigation, which began in Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood on October 21.
There, a wandering witness stumbled across Woll’s bloodied body, feet away from her home on Joliet Place. The corpse, belonging to the woman who appeared in Detroit Jewish News ‘ ’36 under 36’ list in 2017, was found next to a trail of blood. The local leader’s death came two weeks after the Hamas strikes on Israel, and immediately raised questions about a suspect and prospective motive. Drawing more scrutiny was the fact that Woll – who had been heading home from a wedding in Sterling Heights before she was killed – was president of a local synagogue, and worked as the deputy district director for a local congresswoman.
Then, more than two weeks into the investigation, the same four sources who reportedly told The News the man made an ‘ambiguous’ statement to cops about the murder claimed the suspect was an acquaintance of Woll’s. He was cuffed Tuesday night in Kalamazoo, after cops revealed the victim had been stabbed inside her home before ‘stumbl[ing]’ and ‘collaps[ing]’ outside. In a statement after the Jewish leaders’ death, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who Woll had also worked for on her re-election campaign, said she was ‘shocked, saddened and horrified’ at the ‘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 on X.
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin – the rep who had employed the local leader – also praised Woll, saying she was one of the leaders who helped guide her office in her first full term in Washington. ‘She did for our team as Deputy District Director what came so naturally to her: helping others & serving constituents,’ she said on X. ‘Separately, in politics & in the Jewish community, she dedicated her short life to building understanding across faiths, bringing light in the face of darkness.’
As for White – who revealed Tuesday upon making the arrest that Woll had laid in the street ‘for quite a while’ before she was discovered in the early hours of October 21 – he has yet to speak on the man’s release, and his force has yet to issue an update. When asked by DailyMail.com, experts said the arrest was likely a ploy to get the suspect to say something incriminating, and that the decision to release him was likely made so officers would not risk issuing a charge that would not stick. At a press conference two days after the murder, White maintained there was ‘no evidence’ that Woll was the victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime.
The Detroit Free press, meanwhile, recently reported that cops executed a search warrant last week on the unnamed man’s residence, based on the word of another police source. White, meanwhile, would not confirm last week whether Woll left the wedding alone, explaining that they are being ‘very, very careful’ about what information they share. He said on Wednesday: ‘The details of the investigation will remain confidential at this time to ensure the integrity of the important steps that remain.’ The Detroit Police Department did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment. Read the full story: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12749001/Suspect-released-murder-Jewish-Samantha-Woll.html?ito=msngallery
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