Maryland police have now identified and interviewed a man captured in a video with the prime suspect in the murder of mother-of-five Rachel Morin.
Back in August, Harford County Colonel William Davis revealed that DNA found at the scene of Morin’s murder had been matched to DNA found at the scene of a home invasion in Los Angeles back in March where a young girl was attacked.
“Unfortunately that suspect has not been positively identified, but he did leave behind his DNA,” Colonel Davis said at the time.
“Based on the DNA evidence, we consider the individual in the video we received from the Los Angeles Police Department to be the person that murdered Rachel Morin on August 5.”
Now, almost two months on from her murder, the suspect is yet to be identified and remains at large.
However, on Monday night, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler appeared on NewsNation to reveal new updates about the ongoing investigation.
Besides the suspect, the arm of a second person was captured in surveillance video from the night of the break-in closing the door behind the suspect as he left the home.
Sheriff Gahler said that he initially believed the arm belonged to the girl who was assaulted but has now learned otherwise.
“I actually misspoke. I believed it was a female’s arm, the victim of the assault there. It is actually a male’s arm and investigators had it right, I had it wrong in earlier interviews,” he said.
“Investigators were in Los Angeles and interviewed many people in reference to what happened out there and tied it back to our case.”
He revealed that investigators have now interviewed the man who closed the door behind the suspect.
“We were able to speak to that individual. He is not in any way tied as a suspect to the case at all, but he was also not able to provide us an identity of that suspect,” he said.
The unnamed man was not assaulted, according to the sheriff, but there were other people in the residence who were.
NewsNation host Brian Entin asked why the man closed the door so calmly on the suspect after he had allegedly broke into the home and assaulted a girl inside.
Despite this appearing to suggest that he may have known the suspect personally, Sheriff Gahler insisted that “the people in the residence did not know the person who committed the home invasion and the assault there”.
While the interviews with the home invasion victims have not resulted in investigators being closer to identifying the suspect, the sheriff said he was grateful that the homeowners could provide the surveillance footage.
“Without this video we wouldn’t have this image of our suspect,” he said
The sheriff said he knew how many people were inside the residence at the time the suspect came in, but could not reveal the number citing an open case and the need to not hinder a police investigation.
Sheriff Gahler also revealed that investigators had pursued a lead in Chicago which they thought could lead to the suspect’s identity – but that also failed to come to fruition.
“He was also not able to help us identify that person,” he said.
Despite almost two months having passed since Morin’s body being found off the Ma and Pa hiking trail in Bel Air, Maryland, on 6 August, Sheriff Gahler has reassured the public that the department is still working on the case.
“Our investigators have worked this case aggressively since August 6th when her body was discovered here along the hiking trail,” he said.
The missing mother-of-five was last seen at around 6pm on 5 August when she left her home for a hike on the trail.
When she didn’t return home, her boyfriend Richard Tobin reported her as missing.
At around 1.07pm the next day, a member of the public discovered her body off the trail.
In a bid to finally get answers in the case, Morin’s family has now doubled the reward to $20,000 for information leading to the suspect.
Morin’s sister Rebekah Morin told NewsNation she is “really hoping that by doubling the reward somebody that does know something will come forward soon”.
Matt McMahon, the father of Morin’s first child, has also been out canvasing the Ma and Pa trail, handing out flyers to families who live nearby.
“I need to do it for me, for the children, for Rachel and also make sure that nobody else experiences what we experienced and what Rachel experienced,” Mr McMahon told NewsNation.
When asked if anything seemed different with Morin prior to her death, her sister said that something was unusual – but that their brother had also just lost a baby so she believes it was connected to that.
“That week she did seem off. I don’t know if that was because of something going on that she wasn’t saying or if it was because everyone was upset because of what had happened to our niece,” she said.
The family’s attorney Randolph Rice told NewsNation that they remain confident that they will get justice in the case.
“I know there is plenty more evidence for police to go through, confident that they will review that information… try to make those links,” he said.
“As we put more pressure getting that image out there, someone’s going to recognise him and identify him.”