Rachel Morin Murder Case: Watch video of suspect who police say is also wanted in a Los Angeles home invasion
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Rachel Morin Murder Case: Watch video of suspect who police say is also wanted in a Los Angeles home invasion

May 27, 2023

By Mike Hellgren

Updated on: August 18, 2023 / 10:29 AM / CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE -- The Harford County Sheriff's office said the homicide of Rachel Morin is tied to an assault and home invasion in Los Angeles, California that took place just before 3:30 a.m. on March 26.

DNA evidence taken from Morin's homicide was placed in a nationwide database and matched with the Los Angeles crime.

At a Thursday press conference, police released surveillance video from the L.A. case.

Rachel Morin homicide suspect @wjz https://t.co/ZoZcvyClLg

"We collected DNA from the crime scene. The Maryland State Police analyzed that DNA for us—ran it through the national CODIS system—and that came back as a match to the crime that occurred in Los Angeles where they had recovered DNA from this person," Col William Davis from the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.

Rachel Morin press conference: DNA evidence tied to home envision and assault of girl in Los Angeles. Suspect not positively identified @wjz pic.twitter.com/n9SZlebyrz

Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, was jogging around 6:30 pm on Saturday, August 5th. She had parked near the Williams Street entrance to the trail. Police would not describe the crime scene and have remained tight-lipped.

"Once we catch this person, we want to make sure we got the right person, and the only people who know what happened when we catch the suspect are us and that suspect," Col. Davis said.

BREAKING: potential suspect in Rachel Morin homicide @wjz pic.twitter.com/FvOkFbiYZH

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren asked Joe Murtha, an attorney recreating the Morin family, whether the family believes the attack was random.

"They do," Murtha said. "Now that this information has come forward and the nature of the offense and the investigation that has been conducted, they believe this was a random act of violence."

He described Morin as a wonderful mother dedicated to her children.

"She was a fitness fanatic, and sadly, the place where she found solace, serenity, and solitude was on the trail. She used that as a place where she could get away and not only exercise but clear her mind. Sadly, that has been taken away," Murtha told Hellgren.

Police said the suspect, who has not been identified by authorities in Los Angeles or Maryland may be involved in violent crimes in other states but did not elaborate.

"We don't have any clue where he could be. We don't even know if he's still in Harford County or anywhere in the state of Maryland," Davis said.

He urged residents to be careful along the trail.

"In light of this new evidence, I urge our citizens to use caution, when walking on our trails and throughout our community," he said.

"The family is encouraged that there's somebody out there who can be identified and with the help of an entire nation, there may be the availability for him to be caught and prosecuted," Murtha, the Morin family attorney, said.

Last week, Morin's mother posted an open letter to the community on Facebook. It reads in part, "If you have experienced the loss of a dear loved one, then you know how hard it can be to express the pain that you feel in your heart. When it's sudden and tragic, your mind looks for ways to cope. As a mom, I appreciate the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the worldwide community that grieves with me for my young daughter. Thank you for caring. Truly."

Police are asking anyone who can identify the suspect, or has additional information, is asked to contact the Harford County Sheriff's Office at our tip line (410) 836-7788 or via email at [email protected].

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren came to WJZ in the spring of 2004. Solid reporting credentials and a reputation for breaking important news stories have characterized Mike's work. Mike holds a B.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and grew up partly in both Chicago and Louisiana.

First published on August 17, 2023 / 12:50 PM

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