Who is Victor Martinez-Hernandez? El Salvador Migrant Arrested for Murder of Maryland Mother Rachel Morin, Nearly an Year After Raping and Killing Her

Martinez-Hernandez, 23, was apprehended late Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the help of federal authorities

Police have arrested Victor Martinez-Hernandez, an illegal migrant from El Salvador, for the murder of Rachel Morin, a Maryland mother of five. Harford County Sheriff Jeffery Gahler announced the arrest during a press conference on Saturday.

Martinez-Hernandez, 23, was apprehended late Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the help of federal authorities, nearly an year after brutal rape and murder of Morin. He was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape. Sheriff Gahler revealed that Martinez-Hernandez had illegally crossed into the United States in February 2023.

Rachel Morin and Victor

"We all suspected that Rachel was not his first victim," Gahler said. He explained that Martinez-Hernandez fled to the U.S. after committing a brutal murder in El Salvador in January 2023. The first DNA match for Martinez-Hernandez came from an attack in Los Angeles in March 2023.

"Once in our country, and likely emboldened by his anonymity, he brutally attacked a nine-year-old girl and her mother during a home invasion in Los Angeles," Gahler said. This incident provided the first DNA link to Rachel Morin's case.

The sheriff criticized current immigration policies, stating, "We are 1,800 miles from the southern border, and American citizens are not safe because of failed immigration policies." He emphasized that this was the second instance in two years where an innocent Harford County woman was killed by an illegal migrant from El Salvador with gang affiliations.

"Victor Hernandez did not come here to make a better life. He came here to escape crimes he committed in El Salvador and to murder Rachel," Gahler added. "This should not have been allowed to happen."

Rachel Morin, 37, was reported missing on August 5, 2023, by her boyfriend after she did not return from a run on the Ma & Pa Trail in Bel Air, a usually quiet town northeast of Baltimore. Her body was discovered the following day. In February, police released sketches of the then-unidentified Martinez-Hernandez based on DNA evidence from the Los Angeles home invasion.

The DNA evidence was linked through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The Los Angeles Police Department had collected a hat left behind at the scene of the March 2023 home invasion, which turned violent, injuring several people, including children. Surveillance footage captured Martinez-Hernandez leaving the scene shirtless.

Rachel's mother, Patricia Morin, expressed gratitude for the efforts of law enforcement. "I just want to take this time to thank all the law enforcement for all their hard work," she said. "They just really cared for our family and for our daughter. They were going to diligently work and find the person who murdered her."