Maryland law enforcement officials believe they have recovered the body of a woman who purportedly vanished after taking a nature trail walk in Bel Air on Saturday evening. During a press conference on Sunday evening, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler revealed that a woman’s corpse was discovered near the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air at 1 p.m. According to the sheriff, the fiancée of 37-year-old Rachel Morin notified law enforcement at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday that she had left her home around 6 p.m. to take a walk on the Ma and Pa Trail.
Morin’s boyfriend reported her missing when she did not return as anticipated, telling police that her vehicle was at the trailhead in Bel Air, but she was not. When deputies investigated the area, they discovered the vehicle at the trail’s Williams Street entrance. The vehicle has since been transported to the facility of the division of criminal investigations for processing. At 1:07 p.m. on Sunday, a citizen called 911 to report that they had discovered the corpse of a woman off the trail. Gahler stated that the investigation shifted from a missing person case to a homicide investigation.
Identity Verification Pending: Sheriff Seeks Witnesses and Caution Amid Ongoing Investigation
Gahler stated that he believes the body to be that of Morin, but he would not confirm this until the medical examiner verifies Morin’s identity and cause of death, which has not yet occurred. “We must allow the process to take its proper course,” the sheriff stated. He continued by stating that he understands that homicides cause a great deal of concern in the community, particularly on the Ma and Pa Trail, which has traditionally been considered a safe space. Within 24 hours, two women, Morin and Karen Elliot, 58, went missing.
The sheriff also suggested donning a whistle or other type of alert device to summon assistance. The sheriff’s office requests that anyone who may have witnessed anything related to Rachel’s disappearance contact Detective Golden at 410-836-5430. While the investigation is still in its early stages, the sheriff’s office requested that the community refrain from publishing any known information or speculations on its Facebook page, stating that doing so could hinder the investigation or lead to false information.