DNA evidence from Los Angeles home invasion helps investigators find Maryland murder suspect

Authorities in Maryland have tracked down a suspect linked to the 2023 murder of a mother of five using DNA evidence from a Los Angeles home invasion.

According to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Rachel Morin, 37, was found dead a day after she went missing on a hiking trail on Aug. 6 of last year. Officials said Morin was attacked and removed from the trail before he was killed.

The case remained unsolved for several months, with the suspect fleeing the scene, with only sketches depicting his face being released.

Rachel Morin, a mother of five in Maryland, was killed last year while hiking on a trail. Now her alleged killer was arrested after DNA evidence from an August 2023 home invasion in Los Angeles linked him to her death. (Facebook)

However, that all changed Friday when a man was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on suspicion of murder and rape in connection with Morin’s death.

The turning point in the case, authorities say, was DNA evidence from a March 2023 home invasion in Los Angeles. The alleged killer, Victor Antonio Martinez-Hernandez, 23, is also suspected of assaulting a 9-year-old girl and her mother in the Los Angeles case.

Authorities say Martinez-Hernandez entered the United States illegally in February 2023 from El Salvador. He was identified through DNA evidence in May, although it took longer to pinpoint his location before he was found in Tulsa.

It is unclear when he will be extradited to Maryland for a possible criminal trial. No motive is currently known, authorities said.

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