Illegal immigrant charged in rape, killing of mother-of-five

A migrant from El Salvador has been charged with the brutal rape and murder of mother of five Rachel Morin on a U.S. hiking trail in 2023, police said.

Victor Martinez-Hernandez, 23, was tracked down in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Friday local time after police matched his DNA to the gruesome crime scene in Maryland, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. New York Post reported.

“Rachel’s killer is no longer a free man and will hopefully never have the opportunity to walk free again,” said Sheriff Gahler.

Police say Martinez-Hernandez has ties to Salvadoran street gangs and a violent past that includes at least one other murder.

“Victor Hernandez did not come to this country to make a better life for himself or his family. He came here to escape the crimes he committed in El Salvador. He came here to murder Rachel and, God willing, no one else,” said Sheriff Gahler.

“But that should never have happened.”

The man accused of murder entered the United States illegally in February 2023 after brutally murdering another young woman.

Martinez-Hernandez was in the United States for six months before he allegedly targeted Ms. Morin as she walked alone on the Ma and Pa Heritage Trail in Bel Air, Maryland.

Her naked body was so severely traumatized that, according to the family, it looked as if “her head had been smashed with a rock.”

About a month after the murder, police compared Martinez-Hernandez’s DNA to a sample recovered from the scene of a burglary and subsequent assault of a young girl in Los Angeles.

Although they had DNA evidence and video of the break-in, they were not able to identify the suspect until May, according to Sheriff Gahler.

Authorities tracked down the suspected serial offender in Tulsa two weeks ago and executed an arrest warrant shortly before midnight on Friday.

He was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder and rape on Saturday morning. The motive for the murder remains a mystery.

Patricia Morin, the victim’s mother, held back tears at a press conference as she thanked investigators for finding the suspect.

“At some points I thought we would never get an answer and it would turn out to be a cold case,” she said.

“At one point, when the situation looked really bleak and hopeless, the lead investigator told me, ‘Patience will win in the end.'”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Leave a Comment

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL