The Harford County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement on August 6, 2023, “At approximately 1:07 p.m., a female was located deceased off of the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air. The identity of the victim, as well as the cause, and manner of death are still under investigation.”
On August 17, 2023, sheriff’s officials released a video of a Hispanic man in his 20s who they believe is Morin’s killer. They said in a news conference that his DNA matched DNA at the scene of a Los Angeles home invasion and assault in March. Learn more about the video here. In the news conference, authorities said they now believe the attack may have been random.
Michael Gabriszeski, who found Morin’s body, told Fox 45 Baltimore that he and a relative discovered her body in a tunnel drain, and she had suffered severe head trauma that he believes may have come from a rock. A bloody rock was also in the area, he said.
“I saw a terrible mess,” he said to the television station. “There’s not going to be an open casket. I can guarantee you that.”
Morin’s sister, Rebekah Morin, wrote on the GoFundMe page that her sister’s body had been found, and her death was not accidental.
In a news conference, Sheriff Jeff Gahler called the death a homicide. The investigation turned from a missing person investigation to a homicide investigation when the body was found near the trail, the sheriff said.
Officials “firmly believe this is the body of Rachel Morin,” but the medical examiner will make the official confirmation, Gahler said.
Gahler said authorities do not yet know whether “it was a targeted crime.” A suspect has not been arrested. “We will leave no stone unturned,” he said, adding that he could not say there was no threat to the community. “Right now there is nobody that I would put that this person is a possible suspect. Zero,” Gahler said.
Sheriff’s officials noted in their written statement, “We ask that, since this is still a very active and ongoing investigation, please refrain from posting any details you may know (or guess) on this post. We want answers as much as you do!”
The post was attached to an update on the disappearance of 37-year-old Rachel Morin, who vanished August 5, 2023, after leaving to walk on Bel Air’s MA & PA Heritage Trail, sheriff’s officials said.
Her boyfriend, Richard Tobin, wrote on Facebook, in response to various comments left on his Facebook comment thread, “I love Rachel , I would never do anything to her , let the family and I grieve. Yes I have a past but I also have 15 months clean and have changed as a person . Please.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sheriff’s Officials Say Rachel Morin’s Car Was Located at the Williams Street Entrance
In their written statement, sheriff’s officials noted: “Rachel’s car was located at the Williams Street entrance in Bel Air. If you are walking the trail this morning and see anything suspicious, please call 911.”
Authorities added: “Rachel was last seen around 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 5, 2023 when she left to walk on the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air.”
They described her as: “5’2, 107 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue or black tank top, black sports bra, black spandex shorts, and gray sneakers.” People with information were urged to call Detective Golden at (410) 836-5430.
Gahler said investigators are certain it was a “homicide case,” but he declined to say what they saw at the crime scene that led them to that conclusion.
The MA & PA Heritage Trail “is located on portions of the former Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad corridor in Bel Air and Forest Hill, Maryland,” its website site says. “Our nonprofit organization, The MA & PA Heritage Trail, Inc, strives to make the MA & PA Trail the best place to walk, run and bike in Harford County! Currently, the trail consists of a 3.3-mile section in Bel Air and a 1.7-mile segment in Forest Hill.”
2. Rachel Morin’s Sister Confirmed Her Death & Shared a GoFundMe Page, Which Says Rachel Left Behind 5 Children
Rachel Morin’s sister, Rebekah Morin, confirmed her sister’s death and shared a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. She wrote on Facebook:
As you may have heard from various places, my sister, Rachel Morin was found this early this afternoon. Please do not ask me for details I can’t talk about it right now.
As many of you have seen, my brother Nathan and his wife Magan lost their sweet Lily Beth a week ago. So our whole family has been hit with back to back losses. My sister had no life insurance and my mother Patty Morin and I will be making the arrangements and need to raise funds to do so. So I have created this gofundme to pay for her funeral expenses. Please Share! Donate, comment. Whatever you can to do to help get the word out!
If you wish to donate directly please message me. Thank you.
The page had raised more than $18,000 as of August 6, 2023. The page shared additional details:
It is with devastating sadness and a broken heart that our family has been hit with yet another heartbreak. My sister, Rachel Morin went missing on Saturday August 5 2023 around 6pm. In less then 24 hours her body was found by local law enforcement. It has only been a week since my niece Lily Beth passed away from SIDS, and I find that I have to make yet another gofundme to help my mother, Patty Morin with funeral costs. There was no life insurance in place.
This was not an accidentally death, and she did not go willingly and she deserves a funeral worthy of her her beauty.
If there are any remaining funds they will go towards things her 5 children may need. Please share, donate, comment and keep this going.
Once we have made the arrangements I will update with service dates and times. If you wish to donate directly please message me on Facebook.
3. Rachel Morin Shared Photos on Facebook With Her Boyfriend Richard Tobin, Glamour Shots & a Graphic Reading, ‘Routine Can Be Deadly’
On her Facebook page, Rachel Morin wrote that she lived in Bel Air, Maryland, was from Dover, New Hampshire, and was in a relationship with Richard Tobin.
On February 18, she changed her Facebook cover photo to the graphic, “risk can be dangerous, but routine can be deadly. Comfort has killed more dreams than daring ever did.”
She shared photos with Tobin on August 3, 2023, and wrote, “Only started taking pics few weeks ago.. but these are a few of my favorites . From the beach to the mountains 🥰”
Mostly she posted selfies and glamour shots showing her in a bikini and other outfits. On August 1, 2023, Tobin had indicated on Facebook that he was in a relationship with Morin.
4. Rachel Morin’s Boyfriend Reported Her Missing, According to the Sheriff
Morin’s boyfriend reported that she had headed from her home to go to the trail at 6 p.m., the sheriff said. He did not name him.
The sheriff said the boyfriend, who called 911 to report Morin missing, indicated her car was at the lot behind a brewery. He said sheriff’s officials towed her car. He said a citizen called to report that a female body had been found off the trail.
Gahler said the trail is “known to be a pretty safe place,” and it will be reopened. He asked everyone to “use good judgment” on the trail.
5. People Described Rachel Morin as a Nice Person & Expressed Concern for Her Family & Daughters
People who knew Rachel Morin offered tributes on the GoFundMe page. “I just saw Rachel a few days ago. I have known her and her daughters for several years. She was always nice to me. I wish I could do more, then again I wish this never happened,” a woman wrote.
“We knew Rachel and her children well, and we will definitely miss them,” another woman wrote.
“I am so sorry for her family’s loss. Thinking of all of her loved ones, and children especially,” wrote another.