A frantic weekend search for 37-year-old Rachel Morin—who disappeared Saturday evening near the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air, Maryland—has ended after investigators discovered a body near the route.
When the “obviously deceased” woman’s body was found off the trail just after 1 p.m. on Sunday, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said the missing person investigation shifted to a homicide investigation. Still, Gahler was unable to officially identify the body as Morin’s.
“We firmly believe this is the body of Rachel Morin,” Gahler said at a press conference Sunday night. “But that final determination belongs with the medical examiner and that has not happened yet.”
There is still no suspect and no known motive, according to Gahler.
“Thankfully we don’t have too much violent crime in Harford County, but when we have one, I prefer when I can stand here and tell you that the suspect has been arrested or that it’s a targeted crime,” Gahler said. “I can’t tell you that is the case.”
Gahler added that the Ma and Pa trail will be reopened for visitors with a heightened police presence as the investigation continues. He was unable to say that there is no ongoing threat to the community, however.
“I can’t do it,” he said.
Details of the apparent murder remain sparse. Gahler said investigators still aren’t sure exactly when she went missing, saying that she may have disappeared “anytime from 6 p.m.” Saturday until Sunday morning.
Gahler was asked why a homicide investigation had already been started, considering medical examiners weren’t even able to identify the body yet.
“Our detectives have no doubt,” he said. “I’m not going to go into what, physically, they observed at the scene. But investigators believe sadly that it’s a homicide case.”
Morin was believed to have gone missing at around 6 p.m. Saturday. Cops found her car at the entrance of the Ma and Pa Trail—a 6.5-mile rail trail just south of the Pennsylvania border—hours after Morin’s boyfriend reported her missing late Saturday night.
Investigators are urging anybody with information to contact the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at 410-836-5430.