HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (Scripps News Baltimore) — After the terrifying murder of Rachel Morin, a new effort is underway to make hiking the Ma & Pa Trail, which is located northeast of Baltimore.
Construction to install a video camera system on the popular hiking trail started nearly four months ago.
“I hope that the cameras that are being installed on the trail today will serve as a deterrent to prevent anyone else from being attacked and anybody else from having to suffer the same loss that all of Rachel’s loved ones have had to deal with,” said Matthew McMahon who is the father of Rachel’s first child.
Rachel’s body was discovered just off the trail in a tunnel. While police found DNA from the scene matched that of an assault case from Los Angeles, they still don’t know who the person is. A situation that might have been helped had this technology been in place.
“That’s the beauty of this system. It’s monitored by artificial intelligence,” said Harford County Executive Robert Cassilly.
Cassilly said the system will cover nearly two miles of the trail from Williams Street to North Tollgate Road, with 26 cameras focusing on the more isolated areas.
“It picks up when one person either has a gun or a knife or that they have jumped onto somebody, the AI reads that and then flags that camera,” said Cassilly.
Then 9-1-1 operators are notified and action can be taken from there.
For Susan Kemen, who used to be a frequent hiker of the trail, it’s still an eerie feeling but she said this is a big step in making her feel safe.
“Knowing that the cameras are up and running, I probably will venture out by myself during the day and not feel so intimidated by what might happen,” said Kemen, who lives in Bel Air.
The cameras are expected to go live in mid-February, collecting data that will be stored and accessible by police.
This story was originally published by Scripps News Baltimore, an E.W. Scripps Company.