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'I was afraid to sleep at night,' Rachel Morin's mom speaks out after suspect arrested

Maryland — After ten months of sleepless nights, Patty Morin, mother of Rachel Morin, a Maryland mother of five who was murdered last year, say she feels some relief.

Law enforcement officials arrested Victor Antonio Martinez Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, on June 14. Hernandez is charged in the murder and rape of Morin, who was found dead off Maryland's Ma & Pa Trail in August 2023. 

"Now that they have apprehended him, there is now a sense of relief where before; to be honest, I was afraid to go to sleep at night. Not that I look like my daughter in any way, but I was just... as a woman, I just felt afraid. And I know our community did as well, especially the women. And so, we feel a sigh of relief. But now I’m still feeling exhausted,” shared Patty Morin.

Authorities said Morin wasn't Hernandez's first victim. He reportedly violently assaulted a 9-year-old girl and her mother in March 2023 during a home invasion in Los Angeles. It was after that crime, that he reportedly made his way to Harford County Maryland and killed Morin, while she was walking down a trail. Authorities said that Hernandez was hiding adjacent to the trail where the 37-year-old was walking before attacking her.

Since her daughter's murder, Patty Morin has gathered the strength to visit the trail where Rachel and Hernandez's paths crossed. Since her child's death, she said her friends, family and faith have pulled her through her immense pain. 

"I cry. I cry and I pray. I know that different people have different religious affiliations, but I believe in the Lord. And I believe that God has a plan and a purpose, even if we don't understand it. And I believe that God is good and that he loves me. And so when things are very hard, I go to the rock. He's my solace. And I just pray and pour my heart out to him. And he comforts me," said Patty Morin


Watch the Harford County Sheriff's Office news conference

Hernandez is also wanted in El Salvador for murder, according to the Tulsa Police Department. It was officers from that department, alongside FBI agents who caught Hernandez, reportedly “casually sitting” at a local bar. Police said initially Hernandez lied about his identity and denied any knowledge of the crimes he’s accused of.

Hernandez faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree rape. 




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