Rachel Morin murder: Illegal immigrant from El Salvador charged in rape, killing of Maryland mom of 5

Victor Martinez Hernandez, 23, was arrested in the murder of Rachel Morin

An illegal migrant from El Salvador is responsible for the murder of Rachel Morin, a Maryland mother of five, police announced.

In a press conference on Saturday, Harford County Sheriff Jeffery Gahler said that Victor Martinez-Hernandez was arrested late Friday night and booked on Saturday morning.

"Five hours after meeting with [Morin's] family and just before midnight our time, police in Tulsa, Oklahoma assisted by our federal partners, located and arrested Rachel's murderer: Victor Antonio Martinez-Hernandez," Gahler said.

He was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape.


Victor Martinez Hernandez

Victor Martinez Hernandez, 23, was arrested in the murder of Rachel Morin (Harford Co. Sheriff's Office)

A split image of Rachel Morin and a sketch of the suspect in her murder

Maryland authorities on Feb. 12 released a sketch of the suspect in Rachel Morin's August 2023 murder in Bel Air, Maryland. (Facebook/ Harford County Sheriff)

The 23-year-old migrant illegally crossed into the United States in February 2023, police announced.

"We all suspected that Rachel was not his first victim," Gahler said. "It is my understanding that this suspect, this monster, fled to the United States illegally after committing the brutal murder of a young woman in El Salvador a month earlier, in January of 2023."


Gahler said that their first DNA match for Martinez-Hernandez was from a Los Angeles attack in March 2023.

"Once in our country, and likely emboldened by his aminity, he brutally attacked a nine-year-old girl and her mother during a home invasion in March of 2023 in Los Angeles," Gahler said. "And as everyone I believe is aware, that was our first DNA match linking Rachel's case to the one in Los Angeles."

Rachel Morin headshot next to a photo of her hadn her boyfriend wearing a baseball cap.

Rachel Morin, a mother of five, was found dead Sunday on a hiking trail. She was reported missing by her new boyfriend, far right, Richard Tobin. (Facebook)

The sheriff turned his attention to the crisis at the Southern border, directing his remarks to the White House and to "both members of Congress."

"We are 1800 miles of the southern border," Gahler said. "And American citizens are not safe because of their failed immigration policies."

"This is the second time in two years that an innocent Hartord county woman has lost her life to a criminal in our country illegally," he said, repeating his statement. "In both cases, they are suspects from El Salvador with ties to criminal gangs. This should not be happening."

"Victor Hernandez did not come to this country to make a better life for him or his family, he came here to escape the crimes he committed in El Salvador. He came here to murder Rachel and God-willing, no one else," he said.

"But that should have never been allowed to happen," Gahler said.

A close up of hands holding papers

A police officer holds fliers requesting information on the murder of Rachel Morin at the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air, Maryland, on Tuesday, August 8, 2023. The trail is where 37-year-old Rachel Morin was found dead on Sunday. (Mega for Fox News Digital)

Rachel Morin Murder

Morin, 37, was reported missing in August by her boyfriend, who said she never returned after going out for a run on the Ma & Pa Trail, a pedestrian trail in Bel Air, a quiet and typically safe town about 28 miles northeast of Baltimore, Aug. 5, 2023.

Her body was found on a trail the following day.

Morin Suspect Sketches

The Harford County Sheriff's Office in Maryland released two new sketches of a suspect in connection to the murder of 37-year-old Rachel Morin, whose body was found in a wooded area near a trail on Aug. 6, 2023. (Harford County Sheriff's Office)

In February, police released new sketches of, now identified, Martinez-Hernandez.

The sketches came after DNA evidence linked Martinez-Hernandez to the scene of a Los Angeles, California home invasion.

Police used the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which led them to a single DNA match for an unidentified Hispanic male.

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