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Rachel Morin case: Clothes, shoes turned over by family members identified suspect in killing, charging documents say

Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies posted signs at each Ma & Pa Heritage Trail head as well as at each Harford County, Maryland, Sheriff’s Office facility announcing the arrest in the Rachel Morin homicide Investigation. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

A bag of clothes and a pair of shoes turned over by family members last week were the crucial pieces of evidence that led law enforcement to identifying Victor Antonio Martinez-Hernandez as the suspect in Rachel Morin’s killing, according to charging documents released late Thursday.

The documents also outline how Martinez-Hernandez stayed in Maryland until last month as DNA evidence eventually helped law enforcement track down his family members.

On Aug. 6, the day after she was reported missing, officers located Morin’s body off the Ma & Pa Historic Trail in Bel Air with signs that she had been beaten to death and sexually assaulted, according to the charging documents. Officers recovered genetic material from the crime scene; it was analyzed and identified a potential relative of the suspect.

On June 13 detectives interviewed family members and learned that Martinez-Hernandez had been staying with them in Maryland from December 2023 to around the beginning of May, when he left and never returned. The family turned over two bags of clothing and a pair of shoes, which Maryland State Police analyzed and matched to the DNA recovered from the crime scene. The next day an arrest warrant was issued in Harford County, and Martinez-Hernandez was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma,

Martinez-Hernandez arrived in Maryland on Thursday after waiving his right to contest extradition. He is charged with first- and second-degree murder, rape and assault. Authorities believe Martinez-Hernandez killed a woman in El Salvador in January 2023 before entering the United States unlawfully.

Though his case does not yet appear in online court records, an attorney for Morin’s family said Martinez-Hernandez is expected to appear in court for a bail review hearing Friday.


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