Rachel Morin murder: Maryland police tie crime scene DNA to Los Angeles assault, home invasion
Maryland officials on Thursday said DNA collected from the scene where Rachel Morin was murdered has been linked to DNA from a Los Angeles assault and home invasion that happened in March, according to Fox News.
Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, was jogging on the Ma & Pa Trail in Bel Air around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5., when she vanished. She was found dead the next afternoon in what authorities have described as a “criminal homicide.”
Police collected DNA from the scene of what Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler previously described as a “horrific” criminal homicide and ran it through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). There was a DNA match, but the suspect could not be identified by name.
“This DNA has come back as a match tied to a home invasion and assault of a young girl in Los Angeles this past March. Unfortunately, that suspect hasn’t been positively identified, but he did leave behind his DNA,” Chief Deputy Col. William Davis said during the Friday press conference.
The sheriff’s office played a video of the suspect, whom they believe is a Hispanic male standing 5 ft. 9 in. and weighing 160 lbs., from the Los Angeles incident during the press conference.
“We believe the suspect acted alone and, he does not represent the entire Hispanic community of Harford County, who we are now partnering with to identify this suspect. I know I can speak for the sheriff when I say we are very proud of this community,” Davis said, urging locals to be vigilant while walking in the area.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) could not immediately confirm any details about the incident tied to Morin’s murder.
Davis told Fox News Digital earlier this week that local authorities are working with the FBI and Maryland State Police Crime Lab to analyze physical and digital evidence related to the crime. He declined to say whether the sheriff’s office has any suspects.
“This incident has certainly struck fear into our community, and we have deployed a tremendous amount of resources out onto that trail, and we have deputies out there pretty much 24/7 on bicycle, on foot, on four wheels and four-seater, gator-type vehicles, so we can get around on the trail quickly,” said Davis, who added: “We can’t say there is not a threat out there right now.”
There are no surveillance cameras on the Ma & Pa Trail, but the county has suggested that it will purchase new cameras for the trail in the wake of Morin’s death. Police are still working on gathering any significant surveillance footage from locals who live near the trail from the night Morin disappeared.
The mom of five frequently jogged along the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail, which begins behind some businesses with decent foot traffic, including a brewery, a Domino’s pizza shop and condominiums. It then leads into some wooded areas and neighborhoods outside of Bel Air, Sheriff Gahler previously told Fox News Digital.
Morin’s mysterious death has prompted speculation about suspects on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites.
Morin’s boyfriend, Richard Tobin, broke his silence Sunday in a Facebook post after online sleuths speculated that he might have played a role in her death.
“I love Rachel, I would never do anything to her, let the family and I grieve. Yes I have a past, but I also have 15 months clean and have changed as a person. Please,” the 27-year-old wrote.