Police talk to man in video in U-M student's death

AP News
Posted: Aug 01, 2013 5:15 PM
Police talk to man in video in U-M student's death

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Police trying to solve the murder mystery of a University of Michigan medical student attending school on an Air Force scholarship interviewed a man who stepped forward Thursday after his picture from a security camera was released to the public.

More than a week later, Ann Arbor police still are working the case of Paul DeWolf, a 25-year-old seemingly without enemies who was found fatally shot in an off-campus apartment after failing to appear for work at a hospital. Investigators, however, have revealed few details.

Police repeatedly emphasized that the man interviewed Thursday is not a suspect in the death of DeWolf, a native of Schoolcraft in southwestern Michigan. The photo shows the man standing and using a cellphone.

Det. Lt. Robert Pfannes said the man was "in the area" of DeWolf's home, a Tudor-style building carved into apartments for medical students just off campus. He declined to be more specific.

The death, discovered on July 24, is being treated as a homicide, although there were no signs of a struggle or missing valuables.

DeWolf had planned to graduate from medical school next year. He had a scholarship from the U.S. Air Force and held the rank of second lieutenant. Air Force investigators have joined the investigation as a matter of protocol, although there's no indication that the death was related to his service, said Lt. Renee Bush, an Ann Arbor police spokeswoman.

"There's really no new information" to report, Bush said when asked about the status of the case.

DeWolf was an avid runner. A vigil was held at the track at his high school, and running was a theme at his memorial service, which drew 600 people Monday to Berean Baptist Church in Portage.

Seven-hundred people, some waiting more than an hour, passed through the church Sunday to offer condolences to DeWolf's family, a day before the service.

"He ran track and cross country in school. He had run his race and run his race well, but it turned out to be a sprint instead of a marathon. ... We're confident he's in heaven," the pastor, Bill Abernathy, said in an interview.

The pastor recalled a story about DeWolf finishing a race in high school and then rushing back to encourage a struggling girl to keep going.

"His desire was to bring out the best in people and help them. It doesn't seem like this was a young man who had enemies," Abernathy said.

A fellow medical student, Jen Hemberg, said DeWolf wanted to become a surgeon. He impressed everyone, she said, especially when they learned that he didn't attend a large, well-known university as an undergraduate.

She described him as a "genius" as well as a social guy who played volleyball and was the occasional bartender at parties.

"He liked being around people," Hemberg told AnnArbor.com

The University of Michigan is not as busy in summer as it is during the traditional school year. Still, students are aware of DeWolf's death.

"I feel very safe, I'll just say that. ... I feel like what happened to Mr. DeWolf, tragic as it may be, probably was not a random act," senior Keshia Coleman said.

DeWolf's final funeral service was held Wednesday at Fort Custer National Cemetery, near Battle Creek, Abernathy said.


White reported from Detroit.