BEL AIR, Md. - Maryland officials believe the body found off of a popular walking trail in Bel Air is that of 37-year-old Rachel Morin, a mother of five who reportedly vanished after telling her boyfriend she was going for a walk there.
"We're here to follow up on what I think our entire community knows, sadly, what is a homicide along the Ma and Pa Trail here just outside the town limits here in Bel Air that happened sometime early this morning or today," Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler said in a Sunday evening news conference.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, around 11:23 p.m. on Saturday, Aug., 5, Morin's boyfriend reported that she had not returned home after saying she was going for a walk on the Ma and Pa Trail. Her boyfriend said she left home at about 6 p.m.
When he went to look for her, he found that her car was still in the parking lot at the Williams Street entrance to the trail.
Authorities immediately began to search the area and asked the public for help as they combed the area for any sign of Morin. She was described as 5’2", 107 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue or black tank top, black sports bra, black spandex shorts, and gray sneakers.
The community joined in the search and at 1:07 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, a citizen called in saying they had discovered the remains of a woman off of the trail. Detectives then began investigating the case as a homicide.
The cause and manner of death are still under investigation.
"While we believe while we firmly believe this is the body of Rachel Morin, that final determination, that final say belongs with the medical examiner and that has not happened yet," Gahler said.
The normally quiet community of Bel Air has been shaken by the tragic discovery. Support for Morin, her family and the investigating deputies have been pouring in on social media.
The Sheriff’s Office, however, has asked that people refrain from posting any details as the investigation remains active and ongoing.
"We understand this homicide causes a lot of concern," said Gahler. "We ask everyone to use good judgment on the trail and not just on the trail but in everyday life.
This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 5 for updates.