Search for Missing Maryland Woman Takes Dark Turn

A woman’s body was discovered near a nature trail in Bel Air, Maryland, on Sunday, following an intense search for a missing person the previous day. The woman, identified as 37-year-old Rachel Morin, was last seen on Saturday around 6 p.m. when she left for a walk on the Ma and Pa Trail in northern Maryland. Although a body was found near the trail on Sunday, law enforcement has yet to confirm the identity.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office announced the discovery of a deceased female off the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air around 1:07 pm on Sunday. The identity of the victim, as well as the cause and manner of death, are still under investigation. Morin’s vehicle was discovered by police Sunday morning at an entrance to the trail. Authorities are urging anyone with information to contact local detectives.

During a press conference on Sunday evening, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler confirmed the discovery of a woman’s body off the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air just after 1 p.m. He stated that Morin’s boyfriend had reported her missing around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night after she failed to return from her walk on the trail. Her car was found at the trailhead in Bel Air, but Morin was nowhere to be found.

Upon searching the area, deputies located the vehicle at the Williams Street entrance to the trail. The vehicle has since been transported to the criminal investigations division building for further examination. At 1:07 p.m. on Sunday, a citizen reported finding a woman’s body off the trail, prompting the investigation to shift from a missing person case to a potential homicide.

While Sheriff Gahler believes the body to be Morin’s, he stated that confirmation would have to wait until the medical examiner could verify the identity and cause of death. He acknowledged the community’s concern over such incidents, especially in traditionally safe spaces like the Ma and Pa Trail.

In a separate incident within the same 24-hour period, another woman, Karen Elliot, 58, also went missing. Elliot was last seen at her home in Bel Air around 2:20 p.m. on Saturday. Despite the coincidental timing, Gahler stated that the two cases are unrelated. He could not confirm whether a suspect had been arrested in the Morin investigation or whether it was a targeted case.

The sheriff urged community members to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when using the trails. He also suggested altering routines to make them less predictable and recommended carrying a whistle or alert device for safety. Anyone with information about Rachel’s disappearance is asked to contact Detective Golden at 410-836-5430.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the sheriff’s office has asked the community to refrain from posting any known details or speculations on its Facebook page, as it could potentially hinder the investigation or spread false information.