Authorities in Maryland have linked a recent homicide case to a home invasion and assault incident in Los Angeles earlier this year, using DNA evidence. The identity of the suspect, however, remains unknown. The connection was made public during a press conference held in Harford County, northeast of Baltimore, where surveillance footage and images of the suspect were released. The footage was obtained from a video recorded as the suspect was leaving a house he allegedly broke into in March. He is described as a hispanic male between 25-35 years of age.
The murder victim, 37-year-old Rachel Morin, disappeared on the evening of August 5 after she left her home for a hike. Her boyfriend reported her missing later that night when she failed to return home. Her vehicle was found near the entrance of a trail she often visited, according to officials. The following day, her body was discovered, sparking widespread media coverage.
“We believe this was a person that Rachel probably didn’t know,” stated Col. William Davis of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office during the press conference. He referred to the murder as a “potentially a random act of violence.” Davis also admitted that the current whereabouts of the suspect are unknown.
The DNA evidence found on Morin’s body matched a sample in a national law enforcement database, which led to the connection between the two cases. Davis refrained from providing further details about the Los Angeles assault, only revealing that the victim was a young girl.
Authorities are hopeful that the released surveillance footage will lead to the recognition of the suspect and subsequently, an arrest. Davis also urged caution in the area where Morin disappeared. The sheriff’s office has increased patrols and Harford County officials announced plans to install cameras along the Ma and Pa Heritage Trail, a former railroad route through the county.
Morin’s family, in a Facebook post dated August 10, requested compassion and space to grieve. Morin, a mother of five and an enthusiastic runner, will be honored with a 5K run planned by her family.