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Posted on Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Homicide investigation into Paul DeWolf's death continues as U-M students return to campus

By Kyle Feldscher

The homicide investigation into Paul DeWolf’s death continues as University of Michigan students return to campus last week and Ann Arbor police are still asking for the public’s help.

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Paul DeWolf

DeWolf, 25, was shot once in the neck and killed last month in his basement room in the Phi Rho Sigma medical fraternity, 220 N. Ingalls St. A colleague found him dead in his room on the morning of July 24 after DeWolf didn’t show up for a scheduled shift at the VA Ann Arbor Health System.

Ann Arbor police Lt. Detective Robert Pfannes said police don’t have any new information to release on the case, but detectives continue to investigate.

“It’s an active ongoing investigation and we’re still seeking tips from the public,” Pfannes said.

There’s a combined $10,000 reward offered by the Ann Arbor Police Department and University of Michigan Police Department — $5,000 each — for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Pfannes declined to comment on how many tips the department has received in the case.

It’s unknown at this point when forensic tests being done in the investigation will be ready.

DeWolf was entering his fourth year at the medical school before his death. The Portage, Mich., native was a reservist second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and was planning to enter the service after he graduated.

Police have said DeWolf’s room in the fraternity did not appear to be in disarray and nothing valuable was reported stolen. No suspect description has been released in the case.

The ongoing homicide investigation — with a crime scene just a few blocks from campus — was on the minds of many parents who were dropping their students off at university dorms last week.

But, at least one family isn’t letting the investigation change their view of Ann Arbor.

Rita Jones was helping her daughter Kepriah Davis, a sophomore biology major at U-M, move into the North Quadrangle dormitory Friday morning. Standing just a few blocks from the place where DeWolf died, Jones said she’s not concerned about her daughter coming back to school.

“This is her sophomore year, I think she’s going to be fine. She was fine then (last year),” Jones said. “But, this is unfortunate.”

Still, she said there's a slight feeling of concern though. She added, “You would, as a parent, feel better if they had someone in custody. … If the person is still running around and you’re leaving your kid, some people live out of state and they’re leaving their kids here.”

Davis said she was looking back on her freshman year at Michigan for comfort and relying what she learned about Ann Arbor to keep her safe.

“I never feel threatened, but I know where not to be at night,” she said.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said he wasn’t aware of any specific concerns brought to the central office about the investigation into DeWolf’s death. Many parents are aware of the case, but Fitzgerald said he’s not sure if it’s raised “any additional or heightened concerns.”

Fitzgerald said programs like Beyond The Diag, which brought out top police officials from Ann Arbor and U-M to meet students living in off-campus neighborhoods Thursday, help to make sure students feel safe.

“It’s a part of a broader effort to take the safety messaging, not just to our on-campus community, but to our off-campus community,” he said, adding the programs were helping students know “that both Ann Arbor and U-M officials are genuinely concerned about their safety and see them, not as enforcers, but as people who can help them stay safe.”

Anyone with any information about DeWolf's death is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939, U-M Police at 734-763-1131 and Crime Stoppers 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.


Gabriel Sandler

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Please correct the misspelling on the third paragraph from the bottom to read "Fitzgerald" as opposed to "Fitzgearld". I am certain that the University and your readers would all agree that this error is unacceptable, even if your editor does not agree.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

Thank you for pointing out that typo, it's been fixed.

Gabriel Sandler

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

Why are so many legitimate comments being removed from this article?

Gabriel Sandler

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

Since there are more removed comments than actual comments on this article, I can only surmise that it is not a case of a violation of any posting guidelines, but an attempt to stifle any comments that raise questions about the quality of the investigation or the coverage of this horrible incident within our community. RIP Paul DeWolf - my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and my sincerest condolences go out to anyone affected by this tragic loss.


Mon, Sep 2, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Based on some early articles ... and commentary from friends and relatives, Mr. DeWolf appeared to have had a fairly complex lifestyle. It may be hard for even Sherlock Holmes to solve this one, let alone the A2 police department. Time is the enemy due to the transient student population. The perp --and any witnesses for that matter-- may now be attending school in other states. The A2 police really needed to be on a "Law & Order"/ NCIS style timetable to solve this crime. Good luck.


Mon, Sep 2, 2013 : 4:48 a.m.

The dude Killer Guy/Gal! I Wonder if he/she is reading our posts? You can Be Sure that LEO is cyber-searching our posts. And I say: That Be Good!!!

Lyn Barron

Mon, Sep 2, 2013 : 2:52 a.m.

I hope they do a better job investigating this horrible crime, than they do the hospital deaths....and all the other crimes that are criminal that happen in Ann Arbor and sometimes do not get reported in a timely manner- let alone investigated. I am going to change my sign in name to 'axe to grind.'


Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

This is just my opinion, but before some comment here about the lack of progress let's remember that this is not an episode of "Law & Order" or "NCIS" where every crime is solved in an hour. I firmly believe the police agencies involved are doing their best. As for lack of information it has been said in this and other investigations that some of the information is keep private as to not to corrupt the case.

Gabriel Sandler

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Beyond complete naiveté and fallacy, what reason do you have to believe that the "police agencies involved are doing their best"? This sounds like pure fallacy to me. I do not watch "Law & Order" or "NCIS", but my common sense alone is telling me that we are being left in the dark with specific information that could be vital to helping those in the community come forward to assist with the investigation. Don't you think that knowing more specific details might help us find the person or persons involved in this horrible tragedy? If so, isn't it the job of both the police and also the media covering this story to provide us with that information? I don't know for a fact that the "police agencies" are not doing their best, but I do question it when we are learning nothing new in over a month, and by these articles alone and the responses in the comment section, many people are concerned about the lack of new information. I see nothing helpful about your comment at all - in fact, your comment seems to suggest that those who are concerned are somehow in the wrong for being concerned, when in point of fact, you may be suggesting that it is illogical for the friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues of Mr. DeWolf to be worried about their own safety.


Mon, Sep 2, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

While I have no doubt - just like yourself - that the AAPD is "doing their best" to solve this crime, I wonder what their "best" is. In other words, given the nature of crime in this city (typically lower-level IMHO), is the AAPD even equipped to deal with high-profile violent crimes? Time will tell...


Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.

They solve nothing that isn't done in front of the police ( MIPs, drunken fights). Every major unwitnessed crime in this city in recent years is unsolved... (sexual assaults, this murder, the rash of random assaults last year). Even when their are witnesses the crimes go unsolved.


Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

What is Information? I am glad to note that the homicide investigation is in progress and that the Police continue to ask people to provide information. It would be helpful, if Police specify the nature of information that may help to solve the mysterious circumstances around his untimely death. Is this information about people found near the residence? Then it should specify the time. Is it about persons with whom the student had interacted? Then it should specify the gender, and approximate age of that person(s).


Mon, Sep 2, 2013 : 5:44 a.m.

The whole POINT of gathering information is to gather ALL information. Then it is sifted and sorted to determine who did it. If they say they are only interested in hearing from his female friends, that may take away a large population of potential witnesses. Here is an idea, if YOU have ANY information about the situation, CALL THE POLICE

Michigan Reader

Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

BhavanaJagat--Investigators keep an open mind, ANY and ALL information is solicited. Until they close the case, everyone involved with him is potentially a suspect until they are ruled out.


Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

I think they know what they are doing and don't need your suggestions