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 June 17, 2024

Sheriff Condemns Migrant Crimes Following Serial Predator's Arrest For Murder And Rape

In a harrowing revelation that has shocked a Maryland community, a suspected gang member has been apprehended for the brutal murder and rape of a local woman.

Victor Martinez Hernandez was arrested after a multifaceted investigation linked him to the horrific killing of Rachel Morin in Bel Air, the New York Post reported.

Rachel Morin, a 37-year-old mother of five, met a tragic end on August 6 when she was abducted while walking on the Ma and Pa Trail.

Her body was later discovered in a nearby ditch, a discovery that plunged the community into mourning and marked the beginning of a complex investigation.

Tragic Discovery and Immediate Response

Following the discovery of Morin's body, law enforcement quickly mobilized, issuing a sketch of the suspect in February and announcing a $35,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. This reward, coupled with intense detective work, began to turn the wheels of justice.

The case took a significant turn on what would have been Rachel Morin's 38th birthday, thanks to pivotal DNA evidence that linked Hernandez to the crime. This evidence became a cornerstone of the investigation, propelling authorities forward in their quest for justice.

The investigation's scope widened as detectives traveled to El Salvador, employing genetic genealogy techniques and gathering crucial intelligence that would eventually point them to Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was there that Hernandez, living under the radar since February 2023, was apprehended in a local bar.

A Manhunt Across Borders

The operation to capture Hernandez was a collaborative effort involving state and federal agencies, highlighting the complexities of tracking a suspect involved in international crimes.

Hernandez, a 23-year-old illegal immigrant and suspected gang member, had a troubling history, including an assault in Los Angeles and a murder charge in El Salvador.

“Victor Hernandez did not come here to make a better life for himself, or his family, he came here to escape a crime he committed in El Salvador,” stated Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, expressing frustration over the circumstances that led to such violent crimes in Harford County, located 1,800 miles from the southern U.S. border.

With Hernandez's arrest, the extradition process to bring him to Maryland has commenced, and it is anticipated to take anywhere from 10 days to a month. This development brings a semblance of relief to a community rattled by the violent crime.

Community Reaction and Judicial Proceedings

The community's reaction was a mix of relief and profound sorrow. Patricia Morin, Rachel's mother, shared heartfelt words about the investigators' perseverance, emphasizing that patience and dedication were crucial throughout the ordeal.

"At one point, when things seemed bleak and hopeless, the lead detective said, 'Patience will win in the end.' And that’s what investigators have been doing," Patricia Morin recounted, praising the diligent efforts of all involved.

Bill DelBango, a key figure in the genetic genealogy team, detailed the technical aspects of the case. “Our team worked countless hours using crime scene DNA to trace potential family members of Hernandez, providing the breakthrough needed to finally apprehend him,” he explained.

Impact on Local Law Enforcement

The case has had a profound impact on local law enforcement strategies, with significant emphasis now on collaboration across state and national lines. Sheriff Gahler’s statements underscored a wider problem related to crimes committed by illegal immigrants, particularly those with ties to violent gangs.

This case also prompts a reevaluation of how justice systems can effectively collaborate to track and apprehend suspects who operate across international borders, ensuring they face the consequences for their actions regardless of their geographic location.

Gahler’s statement struck a chord with the community: “I’m here to tell you Rachel’s murderer is no longer a free man,” he asserted, signaling a small but significant victory for law enforcement and the grieving family.

Why This Story Matters

This case sheds light on the broader implications of crimes committed by individuals illegally residing in the country. It questions our systems of border control and criminal justice and highlights the importance of international cooperation in solving crimes.

Victor Hernandez's capture and subsequent bringing to justice not only serves as closure for the victim's family but also as a warning to others who think they can evade law enforcement.

In closing, the meticulous investigation that led to Hernandez's capture proves the commitment of local and federal agencies to bring criminals to justice, no matter the length of the journey from crime to capture. It highlights a community’s resilience and the unwavering quest for justice that transcends borders.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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