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Harford Co. sheriff speaks about progress in Rachel Morin murder case: 'There's a threat out there'

Harford Co. Sheriff speaks about progress in Rachel Morin murder case
Harford Co. Sheriff speaks about progress in Rachel Morin murder case 02:57

BALTIMORE - The Harford County Sheriff warns Rachel Morin's killer could kill again, if not already.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler spoke with WJZ's Paul Gessler about the progress that has been made in the murder investigation.

Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, was found dead on Aug. 6 off the Ma & Pa Trail in Harford County. She was reported missing the night before after Morin didn't return home after going to the trail.

"We want that person identified so we can get them off the street," Gahler said.

Morin's murder case is front on center on Gahler's desk. 

Her killer has not yet been captured.

"There's a threat out there," Gahler said.

Gahler, earlier this month, warned that Morin's killer could commit more violence.

"If given the chance, he certainly could become a serial killer," Gahler said.

In a social media update earlier this month, Gahler said he's concerned Morin's killer could be escalating his crimes, from a home invasion and assault in Los Angeles to now a murder in Harford Count.

"What makes him different from any other killer on the loose? Why was it important to make that comment?" WJZ's Paul Gessler asked.

"Well, I want people to be cognizant that there's a threat out there," Gahler said.

Gahler did not release details of Morin's death or the crime scene but said detectives have received nearly 700 tips so far, some from outside the country.

"Our investigators are, indeed, following up on every single tip," Gahler said.

Gahler says tips flooded in after releasing this video, showing the suspect matched through DNA in Los Angeles earlier this year.

"The most important thing is to share that video of that suspect," Gahler said.

While Gahler is asking for more tips, he said investigators are not relying on them.

"A lot of experienced manhours are being put into this," Gahler said. "Technologically and scientifically, every end is being followed."

Gahler said that his deputies traveled to Los Angeles and then Chicago to follow leads on that DNA match.

Investigators are confident the person whose arm appears in a video released by deputies played no role in any crime.

"It appears to be random. It appears opportunistic," Gahler said.

Gahler said investigators now have hours of video captured by cameras at nearby homes and businesses.

In the six weeks following Morin's murder, the sheriff says he's spent $30,000 in overtime on patrols on the trail. 

The County Executive's Office is still working with fiber optic and utility companies on adding cameras at certain locations.

"There is still a killer on the loose," said Shannon Morin, Rachel's sister-in-law. "He may be here. He may not be here. But, we wanted to be sure everyone has seen his photo."

This past weekend, Morin's family and friends canvassed the area around the trail.

They're hoping to reach the Hispanic community, who they say may not have heard as much about the case.

"We're trying to get this word out to everybody, but a strong emphasis on the Hispanic population since they're not tuning into traditional English media," said Michael McMahon, the father of one of Rachel's children.

Gahler says he is far from calling Morin's murder investigation a "Cold Case," but the killer could still be in the area.

"No human being should meet their end the way Rachel faced her end," Gahler said. "He'll do it again, I have no doubt. I've been doing this a long time. He'll do it again if he's not been captured."

The reward for information leading to an arrest stands at $10,000 but another $15,000 could be added in the coming days.

Morin's family told WJZ they are starting a digital campaign in Spanish to catch the attention of this in the Latino community.

If you have information that could help investigators reach out to the Harford County Sheriff's Office: RMTIPS@HARFORDSHERIFFORG. 


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