Rachel Morin's murder case has stumped authorities, and now, they're upping the ante by offering reward money and issuing urgent warnings to the public.
The 37-year-old mother of five was last seen Aug. 5 when she left for a walk on the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail in Bel Air, Maryland, at 6 p.m. Her boyfriend reported her missing later that night when she never returned home, and her body was found near the trail less than 24 hours later.
In the three weeks since, deputies now working with the FBI say they have received more than 300 tips, and on Thursday, they increased the reward for information on their prime suspect to $10,000.
This suspect was identified through a DNA sample at the crime scene, which was put in a nationwide database and matched a man wanted for a March home invasion and assault of a young girl in Los Angeles.
The sheriff's office released surveillance video of the unknown male on Aug. 17 which shows him shirtless leaving the Los Angeles home. In the release, the sheriff's office describes him as being of Hispanic descent, 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, and between the age of 20 to 30.
But this public request for help so far hasn't gotten authorities farther in their investigation, and at this point, Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler says finding the killer is a priority for the public's safety.
Gahler told Fox News the killer "poses a threat to every community from here to Los Angeles," as they still don't know where in the country he is.
"This person has an absolute disregard for the sanctity of human life and, until he’s arrested, there is a threat he’ll do something harmful to someone else," he said.
Knowing the serious nature of both Morin's case and the Los Angeles crime, Gahler told the publication it's likely the suspect has committed other acts of violence and could commit more if he isn't caught soon.
But even though the unknown male is their prime suspect, Gahler said they're still not ruling other people out.
When Morin first went missing, citizens started assuming her boyfriend, Richard Tobin, was involved.
He had posted a Facebook relationship status update with Morin just four days before she went missing, and the day her body was found, he commented on that status insisting he wasn't involved in her death, while noting his criminal record.
"I love Rachel, I would never do anything to her, let the family and I grieve," he commented under his relationship status post with Morin, which was posted on Aug. 1. "Yes I have a past but I also have 15 months clean and have changed as a person. Please."
Gahler said there's no indication Tobin was involved at this point, but until they find their main suspect "or whether he acted alone, the entire world is a suspect."
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com