After Rachel Morin Killing, Ma & Pa Trail Getting Video Surveillance System
Patch reporter Kristin Danley-Greiner wrote this story.
BEL AIR, MD — Measures are being taken to improve the safety of the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air after 37-year-old mom Rachel Morin was found dead near the trail in August.
Morin, 37, was reported missing in early August by her boyfriend, Richard Tobin, when she didn't return from her walk on the popular Bel Air Ma and Pa Trail. DNA evidence from the Morin crime scene matched DNA found at the scene of a March 2023 home invasion and sexual assault of a girl in Los Angeles, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said on Aug. 16. Doorbell camera video provided by the L.A. Police Department captured a brief clip of that man leaving the scene of the alleged home invasion and assault in California.
Harford County officials authorized the installation of a video camera system on the hiking trail. The camera is designed to quickly detect unusual activity and locate a specific person or vehicle of interest, officials stated. The system will cover nearly two miles of the Ma and Pa Trail from the Williams Street trailhead to North Tollgate Road, focusing on the isolated stretches of the trail.
Data collected will be securely stored and made accessible to appropriate users such as law enforcement and emergency first-responders, according to Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly.
Crews broke ground on the system Monday to install the conduit that will house the power infrastructure and fiber cable for multi-sensor camera units at 26 locations. Harford County partnered with ARK Systems, KCI Communications Infrastructure, BGE and Motorola to design and install the video system which is expected to go live in mid-February.
“The terrible murder of Rachel Morin shocked our community and we know that nothing can make up for her loss,” Cassilly said. “What we can do is increase security on our most popular trail and continue encouraging citizens to look out for one another and keep themselves safe.”
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Officials reminded those who use the trail to be aware of their surroundings, walk with a friend or in a group, let others know if a trail user will be walking alone, carry a cell phone and report anything suspicious.
Law enforcement continues to search for Morin's killer.
"We know the suspect is approximately 20-30 years old and he may have attended high school around the crime scene in Los Angeles. We are hopeful a former teacher, staff or student recognizes the image and can identify the man," Morin family attorney Randolph Rice said in a statement. "Any information that could assist in identifying the perpetrator is encouraged and appreciated."
"The longer it goes, the dimmer it seems" to get justice, Patty Morin told WBAL TV in an exclusive interview in late October.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said he believes the suspect could be a serial killer.
"My concern is that this killer is escalating. My investigators and I both firmly believe that if we do not apprehend this individual, he will again, if he has not done so already. And, if given the chance, he certainly could become a serial killer," Gahler said. "Until he is in custody, this suspect poses a threat to every community in our country and maybe outside," he said.
To learn more about contributing to the Rachel Morin Reward Fund, individuals can visit the law firm's dedicated website at https://ricelawmd.com/reward. Anyone with information related to the Rachel Morin murder case can contact the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at (410) 836-7788 or via email at RMtips@HarfordSheriff.org.
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