A body found along the Ma and Pa Trail in Harford County is believed to be that of 37-year-old Rachel Morin, who was reported missing Saturday night, according to the county sheriff’s office.

“There are days I absolutely love being the sheriff of Harford County, but this is not one of those days,” Sheriff Jeff Gahler told media representatives at a briefing Sunday evening.

Gahler noted the medical examiner has not confirmed the identity of the body, but he said investigators “firmly believe” it is Morin.

The body of a woman found on a popular Maryland hiking trail has been formally identified as 37-year-old mother-of-five Rachel Morin. (Courtesy of Harford County Sheri)

The search for a missing person has now turned into a homicide investigation, he added. Gahler declined to offer further details but noted the body — found around 1 p.m. Sunday by a volunteer — indicates a homicide.

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Morin reportedly left for the trail around 6 p.m. Saturday. Her boyfriend reported her missing after noticing her car parked and unattended on Williams Street, close to the trail, Gahler said. An “extensive search” began that night.

“We ask everyone to use good judgment on the trail,” said Gahler, advising hikers on safety practices such as “buddying up,” refraining from the use of headphones and carrying a whistle.

“If you see something suspicious or that makes you feel uncomfortable, take out your phone and call 911,″ he said.

Gahler said there will be an increased police presence along all sections while the investigation continues. No suspect has been taken into custody or identified.

“If you think you have just the smallest tidbit of information … investigators would like to talk to you and have that information,” he said.

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Gahler fielded questions about another missing person, 58-year-old Karen Elliott, who was last seen entering a wooded area along Cypress Drive and had yet to be found after a two-day search. He said the two cases are “completely unrelated.”

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Daniel Zawodny covers transportation for The Baltimore Banner as a corps member with Report For America, a national service organization that places emerging journalists with local newsrooms that cover underreported issues.


Daniel Zawodny covers transportation for the The Baltimore Banner as a corps member with Report For America. He is a Baltimore area native and graduated with his master's degree in journalism from American University in 2021. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and previously covered immigration issues.

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