Rachel Morin slaying: Harford County sheriff dismisses social media posts claiming to identify Bel Air woman’s killer

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Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler on Thursday evening dismissed social media posts claiming to have identified Rachel Morin’s killer.

Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, went missing around 6 p.m., Aug. 5 at the Ma and Pa Heritage Trail in Bel Air. Her body was discovered there the next day in what the Harford County Sheriff’s Office has described as “a violent attack.”


Gahler said so far the department has received nearly 600 tips.

“I know there were many out there who were hopeful when several claims to have identified the suspect were and currently are being circulated on TikTok,” Gahler said in a video posted Thursday. “We have investigated those claims as well and found them not to be relevant to the investigation into Rachel’s murder.”


The sheriff’s office has received an autopsy report from the medical examiner’s office but is withholding details of the attack and the crime scene. The department is still patrolling the trail while the county works to install cameras in the area. County Executive Bob Cassilly said Aug. 6 he directed staff to “expedite installation” of the cameras.

“I will continue to hold off on confirming the details of Rachel’s death, and information related to the crime scene,” Gahler said. “With fall and cold weather fast approaching, we will certainly see decreased use of the trail and will adjust our patrols accordingly. I can promise you that until we get the promised cameras covering the trail and the trailhead from the county, we will continue to monitor the Ma and Pa trail.”

On Tuesday, friends and families canvassed the neighborhoods around the trail with flyers in English and Spanish containing images from security camera footage from a March residential burglary and assault of a young girl in Los Angeles where police say DNA matched evidence collected from the Harford County crime scene. Aug. 17 the sheriff’s office released the short video clip of the suspect that reveals part of his profile and his shirtless back. From the video and witness statements in Los Angeles, detectives believe the suspect is in his early to mid-20s, 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 160 pounds.

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“Someone out there knows who this suspect is. We need this photo in front of that person,” Gahler said.

In the video, a person’s arm can be seen reaching out the door. Gahler said the sheriff’s office has contacted that person.

“What about the arm in the video?’. I hear this question numerous times a day, and I can tell you, we have identified the person connected to the infamous arm that appears in the surveillance footage from Los Angeles, and after speaking with that individual we are confident they played no role in the commission of any crime,” Gahler said. “No, we do not have a better picture at this time, and that includes that we do not have a video of the suspect entering the home.”

Gahler added the department fears the suspect is a serial killer who is likely to commit another attack.

“The suspect could be a serial killer. What do I mean? With all we do know about these two crimes, the one in Los Angeles and the one here, my concern is that this killer is escalating,” Gahler said. “My investigators and I both firmly believe that if we do not apprehend this individual, he will kill again, if he has not done so already, and if given the chance, he certainly could become a serial killer.”


The Harford County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, and has set up an email address for tips at

“Until he is in custody, this suspect poses a threat to every community in our country,” Gahler said. “We are still receiving the results of technological and scientific evidence, and following up on new leads. There is still work to be done, and I have not given up hope. My investigators have not given up hope that we will find the killer, and neither should you.”