The brutality of Rachel Morin’s murder suggests that the suspect could be a “serial killer” who will strike again if he isn’t caught, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler told Fox News Digital.
“The violence associated with Rachel’s case shows he has absolutely no care, no regard for human life. I believe he will continue to do it until he’s captured,” Gahler said. “He may be a serial killer.”
Morin, 37, a mother of five, was last seen alive when she went for a walk on the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail about 6 p.m Aug. 5 in Bel Air, Maryland.
When she didn’t return home that night, her new boyfriend reported her missing.
The next day, her body was found off the trail in a wooded area. Police haven’t disclosed her injuries or details of the horrific killing.
DNA found at the crime scene matched a suspect wanted for a Los Angeles home invasion and assault of a young girl.
But the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI have been feverishly trying to identify the suspect.
“Serial killers all start somewhere. What he did in Los Angeles was certainly, I believe, in that direction,” Gahler told Fox News Digital. “I believe it was his intention to inflict more serious physical harm.”
Los Angeles investigators won’t release details on the assault or the police incident report.
Harford detectives were in Los Angeles last week working with their counterparts to track down leads, Gahler said.
“We don’t know who he is yet,” the sheriff added. “He could still be laying his head here in our county, or he could have fled anywhere in the country or even the world.”
Police released home surveillance footage that shows the shirtless suspect from behind and in profile calmly leaving the Los Angeles home after the attack.
He is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, who is 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds. Gahler said investigators still don’t know if the killing of Morin was random.
Police continue to pursue tips and are awaiting the results of additional DNA analysis, he said.
On Sunday, grieving family and friends held a Celebration of Life for Morin in Baltimore at the Greater Grace World Outreach Church.
Patty Morin, the slain woman’s mother, recounted first hearing that her daughter was missing and thinking that “she’s all alone somewhere” and all she wanted was to hold her and comfort her.
The next day, when she learned her daughter’s body had been found, she described the pain as “unbearable.”
But the grieving mother found solace in her faith.
“I know the God that we believe in and the God that Rachel believes in was there holding her and comforting her, and He never left her,” Patty Morin tearfully told hundreds of mourners who turned out for the funeral.
Other speakers highlighted Morin’s devotion and love for her five children.
Local authorities are asking anyone with information on Morin’s murder to call 410-836-5430 or email [email protected].
Metro Crime Stoppers, a volunteer group in Maryland that works with local law enforcement agencies to solve crimes, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Tips can be submitted to Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.