Family of Rachel Morin Believes Captured Salvadoran Gang Member in Tulsa Is a Serial Killer

Family of Rachel Morin Believes Captured Salvadoran Gang Member in Tulsa Is a Serial Killer

The family of Rachel Morin believes that the undocumented immigrant arrested for her murder may have committed additional crimes. Victor Martinez Hernandez, 23, was apprehended on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in connection with the 37-year-old’s death after her body was discovered on a Maryland hiking trail nearly a year ago. The case had been unsolved for ten months since Morin was reported missing by her boyfriend.

Arrest and Charges

Hernandez, identified as a Salvadoran gang member, was arrested at a bar in Tulsa and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape. Additionally, he is accused of assaulting a nine-year-old girl and her mother in Los Angeles in March 2023, prior to Morin’s murder. Hernandez reportedly entered the U.S. illegally in February 2023 after allegedly killing another woman in El Salvador the previous month.

Family’s Concerns and Relief

Rachel’s sister, Rebekah, 43, expressed fears that there might be other victims. “Something we’ve been concerned about is that there are other victims out there … whether they were attacked and it ended the same way as my sister, or maybe there are some out there who are still alive but never came forward,” she told the New York Post. She also noted the long intervals between his known crimes, suggesting he could have committed more offenses. The family finds some relief in having a suspect in custody, hoping it ensures the killer is never free again.

Lawyer’s Perspective on More Victims

Randolph Rice, the family’s lawyer, also suspects there are more victims. He cited the pattern of Hernandez’s crimes and the gaps in time between them, suggesting it is likely he committed additional crimes during those periods. Rice hopes Hernandez’s arrest will encourage other victims to come forward.

Hernandez’s Movements and Arrest

Hernandez had been moving between Maryland, Virginia, Los Angeles, and Tulsa. Bill DelBango of the FBI explained that extensive efforts were made to identify Hernandez using DNA evidence from crime scenes. These efforts included tracing his DNA to potential family members and traveling to El Salvador. Tulsa police and FBI agents successfully arrested him in Oklahoma.

Public Reactions and Statements

Rachel Morin’s boyfriend, Richard Tobin, expressed his relief and anger on Facebook, writing about Hernandez’s arrest and his hope for justice. Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler criticized current immigration policies, citing Hernandez as a danger to American citizens due to these policies.

Efforts to Secure Justice

Patty Morin, Rachel’s mother, and Sheriff Gahler both expressed satisfaction with the arrest, terming it as ‘poetic justice’ on what would have been Rachel’s 38th birthday. Gahler emphasized that DNA evidence linked Hernandez to the crime, helping to track him across multiple states.

Hernandez’s Background and Movements

Hernandez was known for his transient lifestyle and connections with gangs. He moved from El Salvador to various U.S. states, living off odd jobs. Sheriff Gahler expressed a desire for Hernandez to be held accountable in the U.S. rather than being deported back to El Salvador.

Investigation Details and Community Impact

Rachel Morin’s body was discovered on the Ma and Pa hiking trail, sparking an extensive investigation that involved multiple agencies across several states. Hernandez’s past crimes and connections to gang activities added urgency to the case. The release of doorbell camera footage and sketches of the suspect played a crucial role in identifying and apprehending him.

Community and Family Reactions

Rachel’s boyfriend, Tobin, had to publicly defend himself amidst the investigation, highlighting his love for Rachel and his past struggles. The community’s support and the family’s determination played significant roles in pushing the investigation forward and ultimately leading to Hernandez’s arrest.

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