Arrest Made in Connection with Tragic Death of Detroit Synagogue President Samantha Woll

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy made a significant announcement on Wednesday, revealing that charges have been filed against Michael Manual Jackson-Bolanos, a 28-year-old resident of Detroit, in connection with the murder of Samantha Woll, the president of Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit. The charges include homicide felony murder, lying to a peace officer, and home invasion.


During the press conference, Worthy emphasized that there is currently no evidence to suggest that Jackson-Bolanos had any prior acquaintance with Woll or that the tragic incident was motivated by hate. The charges come in the wake of the discovery of Woll’s lifeless body outside her residence in the Lafayette Park neighborhood on Saturday, October 21.

The 40-year-old synagogue president had attended a wedding the previous night, returning home after midnight. Investigators, who found no signs of forced entry into Woll’s residence, believe she was stabbed inside her home before making her way to the yard, where she was eventually discovered.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office received a warrant request in the case on Tuesday. Prior to this, Detroit police had taken a second person of interest into custody on Sunday. Notably, another individual was arrested on November 8 but was subsequently released three days later. Worthy clarified that Jackson-Bolanos was not the initial arrestee.

Court records reveal that Jackson-Bolanos had previously faced legal consequences, having been sentenced to prison in 2014 and probation in 2019 for offenses related to receiving and concealing stolen property. A probable cause court appearance for Jackson-Bolanos is scheduled for later this month.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin, who had known Samantha Woll for over five years, expressed the community’s collective frustration and relief. “Definitely, it was frustrating not knowing at all who did this and would they find someone or would they never find someone,” said Rabbi Lopatin. He further emphasized the uniqueness of Woll and the need for the community to strive to uphold her standards.

As the Jewish community observes Hanukkah, some are lighting candles in honor of Samantha Woll. Rabbi Lopatin described light as a fitting tribute to Woll, recalling her as a brilliant light that illuminated the community with hope. The legal proceedings and arrest bring a sense of closure for the community, allowing the healing process to begin.