BEL AIR, Md. (Scripps News Baltimore) — One mother is hoping you will not forget her daughter.
Not forget her smile.
Not forget her name.
Not forget her murder.
Rachel Morin’s body was found along the Ma & Pa trail in Bel Air on Aug. 6th. She went missing Saturday, Aug. 5th after going for a walk on the Ma & Pa. It’s a popular spot in Harford County. When the 37-year-old mother of five never returned home, her boyfriend called the police. By early Sunday morning, an all-out search was underway.
For Rachel’s mother, Patty Morin, she relives the day, being so far away, feeling helpless in the moment, “It was very, very hard. It’s like living in the pit of this fear in your stomach and not being able to do anything about it because you’re 500 miles away.”
Patty was in Kentucky when she found out Rachel was missing, “As a mother the first thing that comes to your mind as your child is missing is you always think the worst-case scenario. You start thinking, how can I fix this? How can I get to her?”
It wasn’t long before her life changed, forever, “No mother wants to hear that you found a body. That means there is no life if you found a body.”
Then started the flood of questions. Questions she still does not have answers to, “What happened during the time that we heard she went missing to the time they found her? Was she still living at any point during that time? When did she die? What happened to her?”
Rachel’s body was found the day after she was reported missing. Police started a search party. Police and people from the community came out, in hopes of finding her alive.
While Patty may live far away now, she knows the area well, “We lived in Bel Air for almost 20 years. When they were younger, we’d walk the trail me as a single mom with my kids, we’d walk the trail, and after dinner, they would run through the woods. It was a safe place to be.”
Deputies were able to collect DNA from the scene. It was a match to DNA found from an assault and home invasion in Los Angeles from back in March of 2023.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler released video from that assault, but all you see is a man leaving a house. His face could not be identified, leaving Patty and Rachel’s family with even more questions, “We don’t know who he is. Is he the guy that fixes your roof? Is he the guy that cuts the grass at the college? Is he a college student?”
Now, Patty is a mother on a mission and has a message for anyone who may have information on who murdered Rachel, “If you think by not exposing this person you think you’re protecting yourself, and you’re protecting your family maybe, all you’re doing is not protecting yourself, you’re enabling him to commit this crime again and again.”
Next, they’ll be mailing postcards, in Spanish and English, to people in the LA area where other crimes happened, hoping someone knows something.
For now, she will hold on to every good memory, “We used to do like the bonfire. We’d sit around and we’d tell stories. Everyone would tell stories about childhood… Remember when we did this, remember when we did that. She always liked to laugh, liked telling jokes just enjoyed people.”
Remembering the good times while being broken over the present, “Having to try to move on and having to try to say goodbye, it’s like your heart is not going to let you because it’s not done yet.”
Along with tips, Patty Morin would like your prayers. A 30-day prayer initiative starts in November. From November first through the 30th Patty is asking everyone to take 5 to 10 minutes a day to say a prayer for Rachel. A prayer her killer will be caught. A prayer for healing for her family.
This story was originally published by Scripps News Baltimore, an E.W. Scripps Company.