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Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

University of Michigan medical student's death investigated as homicide

By Kyle Feldscher


Ann Arbor police detectives continue to investigate the death of Paul DeWolf, a 25-year-old medical student found Wednesday in his apartment on North Ingalls Street.

Melanie Maxwell |

The death of 25-year-old Paul DeWolf is being investigated as a homicide, Ann Arbor police said Thursday.


Paul DeWolf

Facebook photo

Detective Lt. Robert Pfannes released a statement just after 5 p.m. Thursday that said DeWolf’s death is being “investigated as a homicide at this time.” That determination was made after a police and Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office investigation, he said.

“The Ann Arbor Police Department has met with Mr. DeWolf’s family members, the University community and is coordinating efforts with them,” Pfannes said in the statement. “The Ann Arbor Police Department offers its deepest condolences to the DeWolf family.”

DeWolf was found dead in his apartment Wednesday in the Phi Rho Sigma fraternity in the 200 block of North Ingalls Street. A police investigation began about noon and University of Michigan police released a crime alert just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said DeWolf failed to arrive for a scheduled assignment at the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital Wednesday morning. The hospital sent a colleague to the home to check on him, and that person discovered DeWolf had died. Police were immediately called following that discovery.

An autopsy was performed Thursday. Police have not released an official cause of death, and Pfannes said more information on the case would be released Friday morning.

DeWolf was a 2010 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a Schoolcraft, Mich., native. He was set to graduate from the medical school in May 2014.

DeWolf was an active duty Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Pfannes said.

Neighbors reacted with fearful surprise after learning DeWolf's death was being investigated as a homicide.

"That's so scary," said Taylor Paquette, a U-M student who lives down the block from DeWolf's residence. She added that the incident was "so out of character" for the usually-quiet street.

On Thursday, friends remembered DeWolf as a driven student who was incredibly smart and expected to accomplish great things in the future.

Jen Hemberg, who had known DeWolf since the fall of 2010 when they both began medical school at U-M, said he got along with everyone and loved making others laugh.

“Paul was one of those people that knew everybody and knew everything about everybody, because he liked being around people,” she said.

DeWolf aspired to be a surgeon, Hemberg said. She described him as one of the most intelligent students in her class, going so far as to say he was a “genius.”

In an MLive report, Dave Sanders — DeWolf’s former track coach at Schoolcraft High School — said he was heartbroken DeWolf wouldn’t accomplish his destiny.

"I feel a real sense of loss, but not just for me personally," Sanders said. "Even more so for the people in his life that would have benefited from him achieving his dream and the contribution he was going to make to society and those around him.”

A message was left with DeWolf's family Thursday.

Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:50 a.m.

Where are all of the comments about 'I'd neve send my student to UofM' and 'Ann Arbor is so unsafe'? When things like this happen at (or across the street from) Eastern, the university and Ypsi police are vilified for their handling of the situation, and everyone gets on every article an talks about how unsafe Ypsi is, but when the same stuff happens at the prestigious U, crickets. I know I might set a world record for down votes or saying it, but I just can't help but point out the double standard. Go back an look at the old articles.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Thynkin, I'm not attempting to write a thesis here, I'm simply asking that people stop and think before they try to drag a city or institution through the mud. There were two deaths across from campus in a short period of time and people acted like it was the fault of EMU, that Ypsilanti needed marshall law, and that things were 'unsafe'. Yes, crimes happened, but they were both isolated incidents, and as we see here, crime happens everywhere. Not one single person has posted a comment asking why the university isn't doing more to keep their students safe, or that they won't be sending their student to UofM in the Fall.....because it's UofM, and Eastern isn't, and that's the only reason. Yes, the death of a student is rare, thankfully. The one person who died in Ypsi wasn't even a student, but it was no less tragic and didn't seem to matter to anyone that wanted to spew their hatred for EMU, the Ypsi Police, Ypsilanti, I think someone mentioned Detroit, etc.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Blue Marker, it also wasn't the right time for anyone else to make the 'EMU is unsafe' argument either, but they did. Yes, I feel awful that this young man is dead, nobody should go through that. All I'm saying is people try to paint a picture of Ypsilanti/EMU, and they seem to overlook the fact that horrible things happen everywhere.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Maybe if you provided some data comparing the frequency of violent crime between the two communities then your post could be taken seriously. Seems to me the murder of a student is a rare and particularly disturbing event at both schools.

Blue Marker

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

A young man is dead. I'm not sure this is the right time for your point.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:45 a.m.

Why is it news that his family was contacted? Why would you even try to contact the family? Come on....

Cindy Heflin

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

We've found that sometimes family members want to talk to the media about their loved one after a tragic death. Kyle respectfully left a message for them to see if they'd like to talk. Whether or not they do is completely up to them.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

A2comments - That's absolutely not true. No reporter went to the DeWolf home. I left a message on their machine passing along my phone number in case they choose to speak to media and offered my condolences. That's all.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Mathgeek, A reporter was sent to the parents home...


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

The police have contacted the family, not If that wasn't mentioned in the article, people would be livid that his name was published and his family might have to find out that their son/grandson/nephew was found dead. Just stating the facts, that's all.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 3:05 a.m.

I'm very sorry to hear that this man was murdered. I know that the police will be doing everything possible to find out what happened and apprehend whomever did this. My thoughts are with his family and friends.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

So terrible. Thoughts to the family and friends of this young man gone too soon.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

The Detroit News article says the crime report lists a suspect. But it doesn't say that the suspect is in custody or not. Kyle have you seen that crime report?|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Cash - I had a short exchange on Twitter with one of their reporters yesterday. Basically, they looked at the UMPD alert on their website and saw a 1 next to suspects. Diane Brown told me that's an automatic thing that comes up when the crime alerts are made and is usually followed by a suspect description, when one is available. You see they've changed their language about that, but that's what happened. Per AAPD and Brown, there are no suspects as of right now.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 10:58 a.m.

The News said that a campus police officer reported that there was a suspect...but it was later denied. So we shall have to "stay tuned" for information.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

jj- 1. They cited a crime report, not an officer so that would be a press release. 2. I've confirmed with multiple sources today that the detail is not accurate.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

Maybe Detroit news asked questions beyond what was in the press release and that's how they found out about the suspect in custody?

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.

Cash, I've heard nothing like that from police or any of the crime reports sent out by UMPD or AAPD. This is the full text of the press release we were sent (it's been printed on FOX 2 as well): "On July 24, 2013, third year University of Michigan medical student, and active duty Second Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force, Paul DeWolf, failed to arrive as scheduled for his assignment at the Veteran's Hospital. An associate was sent to check on his whereabouts and found the 25 year old student deceased in his apartment in the 200 block of N. Ingalls. That associate called 911. As a result of the ongoing investigation and the preliminary results of the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's Office, the incident is being investigated as a homicide at this time. The Ann Arbor Police Department has met with Mr. DeWolf's family members, the University community and is coordinating efforts with them. The Ann Arbor Police Department offers its deepest condolences to the DeWolf family. Anybody with information is asked to call the Ann Arbor Police tip line 734-794-6939, or e-mail or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP"


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 11:09 p.m.

Homicides are so rare in the student community. I have no doubt that the Ann Arbor detective bureau will solve this in a very short time.


Fri, Jul 26, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

we would hope so.... so that we could once again walk the streets without turning are cheeks to look behind us.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

This is so sad.


Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

Not much that can be said w/o more information.

Linda Peck

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

It is heartbreaking to read this. I offer prayers and blessings for Paul DeWolf and his family and friends. I am so sorry to read this. He must have been a very special and much loved man.