Barry Morphew's Preliminary Hearing Reveals New Evidence & Details About Missing CO Mom Suzanne Morphew

Photo: YouTube
Barry and Suzanne Morphew

Law enforcement and loved ones spent the last year seeking answers after a Colorado woman named Suzanne Morphew disappeared.

Now, as the preliminary hearings for the murder trial of Barry Morphew, Suzanne's husband, are well underway, even more questions are surfacing. Over the course of the first two days in a Chaffee County courtroom, new details have emerged, including evidence Suzanne was having an affair and had told Barry she wanted a divorce, which he responding to with threats of suicide.

Barry Morphew was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and and attempting to influence a public servant on May 5, just under one year after Suzanne went missing on May 10, 2020. Additional charges of submitting a fraudulent vote on behalf of his wife, tampering with a deceased human body and possession of a dangerous weapon have since been added.

Photo: Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office

His 130-page arrest affidavit has been sealed until at least September in order to ensure a fair trial should one take place.

What happened to Suzanne Morphew?

Suzanne Morphew, 49, went for a bike ride on Mother's Day and never returned to her home in Maysville. A concerned neighbor called the police and kicked off a search that has yet to recover her body.

However, the complaint filed by District Attorney Linda Stanley alleges the following: "Between and including May 9, 2020 and May 10, 2020, Barry Lee Morphew unlawfully, feloniously, after deliberation, and with the intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, caused the death of Suzanne Renee Morphew."

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Friends and family had gathered a more than $200,000 reward in exchange for her safe return as federal, state, and local authorities searched the area where she was last seen.

The weekend following her disappearance, her husband spoke for the first time, offering a tearful video appeal in which he begged for his wife to be allowed to come home. He continued to insist on his innocence over the past year.

Now as the preliminary hearing progresses, new information is being revealed at a lightening fast pace.

Details Leading Up to the Arrest of Suzanne Morphew's husband Barry Morphew and Evidence Revealed in the Preliminary Hearing Before His Murder Trial

Suzanne Morphew went out for a bike ride alone on Mother's Day 2020.

According to police reports, Morphew went out for a bike ride on Sunday, May 10, 2020. It appears that she went out by herself.

By that evening, a neighbor realized that she had not returned home and called police to let them know she was missing.

They found her bike that evening but there was no sign of Morphew.

At the time, police commented that the likelihood of an animal attack seemed low.

Search and rescue workers carefully combed the area.

Ever since she vanished, search and rescue crews were out trying to locate her. Over 100 professionals worked hard trying to find a trace of her, along with scent dogs, arial drones, and volunteers.

Morphew's nephew Trevor Noel told local reporters that he and others were doing everything they could to find her.

“It’s really tough physically. It’s taxing up and down these hills. And it’s emotionally draining you know being with the family and still being empty-handed,” Noel said. “We want to leave our options open and we want to make sure that we cover every hill … and know that everyone out here is doing everything they possibly can to find her.”

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Though Suzanne Morphew's body has not been found, there were few clues left behind.

Police did manage to find Morphew's bike the first night she was missing, but they didn't share any details about where they found it or what condition it was in.

On May 15, they found something they would only describe as a "personal item" belonging to Morphew but shared no details at all about what it was, adding to the sense of mystery around this hunt for a missing woman.

Police put out an appeal to residents of the area where she was biking to save their security camera footage from the time frame in which she went missing in hopes that there might be some record of her activities or that of people responsible for her disappearance.

“One of the most helpful ways the community can aid in the search of Suzanne Morphew is by preserving these recordings,” Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said in a statement at the time. “We are aware that some systems override video after several days, and we want to ensure video remains available if needed.”

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Where was Morphew's family when she went missing?

Little information about Morphew's family has been released.

While we know from comments on the Facebook page about the search that she was a teacher, there wasn't much other personal information circulated about her.

Her husband Barry Morphew was allegedly staying in a hotel room over the weekend his wife disappeared, saying her was there "working on a landscaping job" over Mother's Day weekend.

It was reported that he asked a co-worker, Jeff Puckett, to meet him there, and that when he did, Puckett said he "found towels and a pile of mail, and said the room smelled of chlorine."

“I got there Sunday night and the room smelled like chlorine real bad,” Puckett reportedly said. “It was his room and he’d taken a shower — his towels were all over the floor.”

Morphew has two daughters, one a teenager and the other college-aged. It is believed they were the ones who called a neighbor to first report Suzanne missing after she didn't return from her bike ride. They have been living with Barry in a rented house for the past year, during which time he said they were terrified to return the family home.

Her nephew Trevor Noel has been the most prominent family spokesperson so far.

Two weeks after she went missing, news surfaced that Barry, then 52, had been paid to lay dirt at the residential building site on the riverfront land where police were focusing their search.

Photos: Chaffee County Sheriff's Department

And soon after that, Barry filed a petition for guardianship of his wife, "requesting to sell real estate in Indiana on behalf of Suzanne, who is the joint owner of a property that is currently in contract and scheduled to close on June 6."

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There was a large reward offered for her return.

Not long after his wife went missing, Barry Morphew announced a $100,000 reward for her safe return.

An unnamed family friend matched the amount, adding up to an almost a quarter of a million dollars in reward money at stake in the case.

Regardless, even the promise of a small fortune hadn't led to any tips the police reported as being helpful.

Her husband had posted a video pleading for Morphew's safe return.

On May 17, Barry Morphew posted a video on Facebook asking for his wife to be brought home.

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Oddly, he appealed directly to his wife, saying things like "I love you" and "I want you back so bad" while also saying he would pay anything whoever has her wants in exchange for her return.

“Oh Suzanne, if anyone is out there that can hear this, that has you — please, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back,” he said. “We love you. We miss you. Your girls need you.”

During the preliminary hearing, texts entered into evidence revealed Suzaane was having an affair and wanted a divorce.

Text messages shown to the court this week show Suzanne had been having an affair for approximately two years with Jeffrey Libler, a man she knew from high school.

Suzanne allegedly suspected Barry was unfaithful as well. A search of his computer by authorities is said to have revealed deleted browser history including visits to extramarital affair dating site Ashley Madison and Celebrity Jehad, identified as "a nude celebrity website with photos and videos brought to people daily by Islamic extremists."

After unsuccessfully attempting to use a spypen to determine whether Barry was also having an affair, on May 5, 2020, Suzanne texted her husband, "I’m done. I could care less about what you’ve been up to for years. We need to figure this out civilly."

The next day, Barry sent her a text in which he threatened his own life, saying, "Going to see my savior. This life on earth is a mear grain of sand compared to eternity."

On Saturday, May 9, Barry arrived home to find Suzanne sunbathing and sending selfies to Libler.

Then at 6:10 AM on May 10, the morning she went missing, Barry texted Suzanne, "You up? Happy Mother's Day. I love you."

An FBI agent testified that a tranquilizer dart cap was found in the family's dryer.

On the day his wife disappeared, Morphew made multiple runs to dispose of trash at various locations. Among the items he discared, authorities found a camouflage jacket and "tranquilizer material."

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s office has encouraged members of the public who may have information related to Suzanne Morphew’s disappearance to call the dedicated tip line at 719-312-7530.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.