A couple who lives near the home where a Detroit synagogue leader was killed over the weekend has revealed a disturbing incident that occurred around the time of the murder.
Samantha Woll, 40, was found stabbed to death at her home in the Lafayette neighbourhood in the early morning hours of Saturday. Police officials said that it is believed she was attacked inside the home and walked to the street before collapsing on the sidewalk.
Authorities have yet to name a suspect in the investigation, but Chief James White said during a press conference on Monday that several “persons of interest” are being interviewed. Neighbours of Woll have since come forward with reports that the two driver-side tires on their white Mercedes were slashed when they returned home on Sunday after leaving town for the weekend.
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, told Fox News that her car was parked just 200 feet away from Woll’s home — and she and her husband have since notified law enforcement. When asked about the incident as he delivered updates on Monday, Chief White said that his office would be investigating the reports and whether it is connected to Woll’s murder.
A spokesperson for the Detroit Police Department told The Independent on Tuesday that there are no updates in that regard.
“It’s very family friendly here ...,” the woman said, noting that she and her husband have lived in the neighbourhood for three decades. “There are a lot of families and playgrounds. We’ve been down here since 1992 and nothing like this has ever happened. Something this violent, it’s scary.”
She also told Fox that although she did not know Woll, her violent death had shaken the community.
“I don’t know if it’s connected or not, but it’s unnerving. It’s unnerving right now because you don’t know,” the woman added.
Chief White said 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.
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 antisemitism.