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Rachel Morin's suspected killer extradited to Maryland to face murder charges

Suspect accused in murder of Rachel Morin extradited to Maryland
Suspect accused in murder of Rachel Morin extradited to Maryland 02:51

BALTIMORE - Victor Martinez Hernandez, the undocumented migrant suspected of murdering Maryland mom Rachel Morin, was extradited to Maryland on Thursday.

Hernandez is charged in the murder and rape of Morin, who was found dead off Harford County's Ma & Pa Trail in August 2023. He was arrested on June 14 at a bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

His extradition began with officers in Oklahoma loading him into a plane in shackles and handcuffs. He then took the 1,200-mile flight to Maryland, landing at Martin State Airport around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was then driven by deputies to the Harford County Detention Center.  

"Our state does not have the death penalty but I certainly hope that the court will process, the end result of that is that he is found guilty and that he's given the sentence of life without the possibility parole," Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said.

"We've got to stop this"

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said Martinez Hernandez left El Salvador in February 2023 after an arrest warrant was issued for the murder of a young woman.

He is also accused of attacking a 9-year-old girl in Los Angeles.

"This crazy immigration policy is really evil and allowed this terrible guy to come in here and destroy this for so many people and especially the Morin family. We've got to stop this," Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly said. "We've got to reverse the idiocy that is our current border policies. Start by catching the criminals. We can't possibly police this country with a totally porous border on our southern end."

The sheriff said a lead involving genetic genealogy led them to their suspect in Oklahoma.

Officers said when they approached Hernandez at the bar, he lied about who he was and his alleged crimes.

"(I feel a) continued sense of relief that this monster poses no threat to our Harford County community or any community in the world," Gahler said.

Rachel Morin was murdered in August 2023 in Harford County. CBS News Baltimore

The murder by an undocumented migrant has raised anger among Maryland leaders about immigration policies.

"We have an immigration policy that needed to have been dealt with and was not," Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said. "And the consequences then fall on us as the chief executives of our states, the consequences fall on us as the leaders of our individualized jurisdictions."  

Suspect attempted to cross U.S. border three other times

WJZ has uncovered new details about Martinez Hernandez from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Border Patrol apprehended him on three occasions in 2023 when the Title 42 public health order was in effect, which allowed the government to remove people from the country due to COVID-19.

Martinez Hernandez was vetted and because no criminal history was found, he was expelled.

DHS says Title 42 kept them from deporting him or charging him.

"He wanted to come to our country," Gahler said. "He did these horrific things in our country. I hope that he spends the rest of his days here in the state of Maryland."

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Martinez Hernandez was apprehended by the border patrol for unlawfully entering the United States on Jan. 19, 2023, near Santa Teresa, New Mexico; Jan. 31, 2023, in El Paso, Texas; and Feb. 6, 2023, in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

ICE said Martinez Hernandez unlawfully entered the U.S. on February 13, 2023, near El Paso, Texas, without being inspected, admitted, or paroled by a U.S. immigration officer.

Former President Trump calls Morin's mother

We've also learned that former President Donald Trump called Rachel Morin's mother to express his condolences. 

He's taken interest in this case because it has ramped up discussions about immigration in the U.S. recently.

With Martinez Hernandez back in Maryland, Morin's family is looking forward to getting justice for her murder. 

WJZ's Jessica Albert spoke with Rachel Morin's mother about the recent arrest.

Hernandez has a bail review hearing Friday afternoon at the Harford County District Court. 

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