A woman found dead off a popular hiking trail Sunday in Maryland is believed to be a 37-year-old who was reported missing by her boyfriend and police are investigating the death as a homicide, authorities said.
Rachel Morin reportedly went to the Ma & Pa Trail in Bel Air at about 6 p.m. Saturday evening, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said Sunday. She was reported missing by her boyfriend around 11:30 p.m. when she didn’t return home.
Morin’s car was located at the trailhead and a volunteer searcher found the body at about 1 p.m. on Sunday, Gahler said.
“They set up a command center here so we figured that it was something rather grave that had happened to that poor woman,” Bel Air resident Kathy Tunney told CBS Baltimore.
The area reopened after deputies spent hours at the crime scene, but Gahler urged people walking the trail to be vigilant. He said he could not yet confirm that there is not a threat to the public.
“We understand this homicide causes a lot of concern. It causes a lot of concern for us,” Gahler said. “The trail is one of our major parks and recs assets that runs through a lot of different parts of Harford County.”
Residents of the normally quiet community told CBS Baltimore they are in shock.
“My daughter was just out running this morning to the end of the trail and back,” Tunney said. “So we enjoy it and we enjoy living next to it. I have never felt afraid.”
Gahler said there will be an increased police presence throughout the trail while deputies investigate.
“We ask anyone walking on the trail to always be aware of your surroundings,” Gahler said. “The earbuds are great, they help you exercise, but it can also prevent you from being aware of your surroundings. If possible, walk or run with a friend, buddy-up, or consider wearing a whistle or an alert device, and let your family know where you are. If you see something that doesn’t make you feel comfortable, and you feel suspicious about it, take out your phone and call 911 and let law enforcement respond.”
The trail is located near the center of Bel Air, about 30 miles northeast of Baltimore.
A GoFundMe page set up by Morin’s sister Rebekah has raised more than $20,000.
“This was not an accidentally [sic] death, and she did not go willingly and she deserves a funeral worthy of her her beauty,” Rebekah Morin wrote.
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