Rachel Morin murder: Mom says daughter is more than a statistic: 'They’re using her like a 'political flag'

The mother of Rachel Morin, the Maryland mom of five who was brutally raped and murdered while hiking near her home last year, said she hopes her daughter won't become just another "statistic" and used as a political pawn after an illegal immigrant was charged in the case.

"I don’t want them to take my daughter’s name and put it on the flagpole for political reasons. Because she is more than just a statistic. She was a mother and a daughter and someone that was very dearly loved. And I don’t want to reduce her life to just a political name," Rachel's mother, Patty Morin, said in an interview on "The Story" Monday.

Police announced the arrest of Victor Martinez Hernandez, a 23-year-old illegal El Salvador migrant, last Friday after a 10-month investigation into Morin's alleged killer. Hernandez, who has reportedly been in the U.S. since February 2023, was apprehended "casually sitting" at a bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police said he arrived in the states only a month after he allegedly murdered a young woman in El Salvador. His DNA was also linked to a March home invasion in Los Angeles where a mother and her 9-year-old daughter were assaulted, according to authorities.

In a post on Truth Social, Monday, former President Trump blamed President Biden for allowing the suspected "illegal monster" into the U.S. with his administration's open border policies and vowed to "shut down the border" if re-elected.

Morin's grieving mother told anchor Martha MacCallum that while Hernandez's arrest underscores the importance of heightened security at the southern border, she hopes her daughter's life won't be reduced to a political talking point.

"They’re using my daughter like a political flag, and I don’t want to underestimate the importance of what's going on at the southern border – we're almost 2,000 miles away from it, and we’ve had two murders in the county that I live in and Rachel lived in. So it has come all the way up, halfway up from the southern border of the United States," Morin said.


Rachel Morin murder: Illegal immigrant from El Salvador charged in rape, killing of Maryland mom of 5

A former FBI special agent gave an inside look into how federal and state law enforcement apprehended the El Salvador migrant suspect in the multi-state homicide investigation of Rachel Morin.

"I don’t think that people, when they hear these murders caused by illegal immigrants, they would use it for whatever side they're on, and it kind of devalues the life of the person," she continued. "And I really want people to understand that life itself is valuable and precious, and that that is what we need to preserve. And that’s what makes this an American crisis, not just a political crisis."

Morin, 37, was reported missing in August by her boyfriend, who said she never returned after going out for a run on the Ma & Pa Trail, a pedestrian trail in Bel Air, a quiet and typically safe town about 28 miles northeast of Baltimore, Aug. 5, 2023. Her body was found on a trail the following day.

Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape.

In a press conference on Saturday, Harford County Sheriff Jeffery Gahler shared details of the arrest, adding that police "suspected that Rachel was not his first victim." The sheriff later turned his attention to the crisis at the southern border, directing his remarks to the White House and to "both members of Congress."

"We are 1800 miles of the southern border," Gahler said. "And American citizens are not safe because of their failed immigration policies."

"This is the second time in two years that an innocent Harford County woman has lost her life to a criminal in our country illegally," he said, repeating his statement. "In both cases, they are suspects from El Salvador with ties to criminal gangs. This should not be happening."


Rachel Morin murder: Police release sketch of suspect

The Harford County Sheriff's Office released sketches of a suspect in the murder of Rachel Morin in August. 

"Victor Hernandez did not come to this country to make a better life for him or his family, he came here to escape the crimes he committed in El Salvador," he added. "He came here to murder Rachel and God-willing, no one else."

The White House offered "condolences" to the Morin family in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.

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