Maryland police have now identified and interviewed a man captured on video with the prime suspect in the murder of mother-of-five Rachel Morin.
Back in August, Harford County Col. William Davis revealed that DNA found at the scene of Morin’s murder matched DNA found at the scene of a home invasion in Los Angeles in March in which a young girl was attacked.
“Unfortunately, this suspect has not been positively identified, but he did leave his DNA behind,” Colonel Davis said at the time.
“Based on the DNA evidence, we believe that the person in the video we received from the Los Angeles Police Department is the person who murdered Rachel Morin on August 5th.”
Now, nearly two months after her murder, the suspect has yet to be identified and remains at large.
But on Monday evening, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler came forward appeared on NewsNation to provide new updates about the ongoing investigation.
Surveillance video from the night of the break-in captured the arm of a second person as well as the suspect locking the door behind the suspect as he left the house.
Sheriff Gahler said he initially thought the arm belonged to the girl who was attacked, but has now learned otherwise.
“I actually made a mistake. I believed it was the arm of a woman who was a victim of the attack there. It is actually a man’s arm and the investigators were right, while I was wrong in previous interviews,” he said.
“Investigators were in Los Angeles and interviewed many people about the events out there and linked them to our case.”
He revealed that investigators have now questioned the man who closed the door behind the suspect.
“We were able to speak to this person. He is in no way involved as a suspect in the case, but could not provide us with the identity of this suspect,” he said.
According to the sheriff’s office, the unnamed man was not attacked, but was attacked by other people in the apartment.
NewsNation anchor Brian Entin asked why the man so calmly closed the door on the suspect after he allegedly broke into the home and attacked a girl there.
Although this suggests he may have known the suspect personally, Sheriff Gahler insisted that “the people at the residence did not know the person who committed the home invasion and assault there.”
Although interviews with the home invasion victims have not led investigators to any closer to identifying the suspect, the sheriff said he was grateful the homeowners were able to provide the surveillance footage.
“Without this video, we would not have this image of our suspect,” he said
The sheriff said he knew how many people were at the home when the suspect arrived but could not provide the number because of the open nature of the case and the need not to impede a police investigation.
Sheriff Gahler also revealed that investigators in Chicago had pursued a lead that they believed could lead to the suspect’s identity – but that too was unsuccessful.
“He also couldn’t help us identify this person,” he said.
Although nearly two months have passed since Morin’s body was found off the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air, Maryland, on August 6, Sheriff Gahler has assured the public that the department is still working on the case.
“Our investigators have been working intensively on this case since August 6, when her body was discovered here on the trail,” he said.
The missing mother of five was last seen around 6pm on August 5 when she left her home for a hike on the trail.
When she didn’t return home, her boyfriend Richard Tobin reported her missing.
The next day around 1:07 p.m., a citizen discovered her body off the path.
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 that she “really hopes that by doubling the reward, someone who knows something will come forward soon.”
Matt McMahon, the father of Morin’s first child, was also walking the Ma and Pa trail, handing out flyers to families who live nearby.
“I have to do it for myself, for the kids, for Rachel and also make sure no one else experiences what we and Rachel experienced,” McMahon told NewsNation.
When asked if anything seemed different with Morin before her death, her sister replied that something was unusual – but that her brother had also just lost a baby, so she believes it was related.
“She seemed to be doing really poorly this week. I don’t know if it was because something had happened that she didn’t say or if it was because everyone was upset about what had happened to our niece,” she said.
The family’s attorney, Randolph Rice, told NewsNation that they remain confident they will receive justice in the case.
“I know there is a lot more evidence for police to go through and I am confident they will consider this information. Try to make those connections,” he said.
“The more pressure we put on getting this image out to the public, the more someone will recognize and identify him.”