by D.J. DeJong
Mail Staff Writer
Following a nearly year-long investigation, Barry Morphew, 53, was arrested Wednesday morning, charged with the first degree murder in the death of his wife Suzanne Morphew, who went missing May 10, 2020.
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze and 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley made the official announcement of the arrest and charges against Morphew at a press conference Wednesday in front of the Chaffee County Courthouse.
In addition to the murder charge, he was also charged with tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public servant.
Other details were unavailable as Stanley said the arrest affidavit in the case would remain sealed at this time.
While Suzanne’s body has not been found, Spezze said investigators believe she is not alive based on the information gathered over time.
The Morphew family moved to Chaffee County from Alexandria, Indiana, and bought the house at 19057 Puma Path near Maysville in April 2018.
Suzanne, then 49, was reported missing May 10, 2020 allegedly never retuning home from a bike ride.
The Morphews have two daughters, Mallory and Macy, who were not in town at the time their mother disappeared.
Following her disappearance Barry Morphew cooperated with initial searches by law enforcement at and near the family home.
Resources from Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation were put into play early on in the case.
Law enforcement officials searched a construction area in Cleora and in the fall Suzanne’s brother, Andy Moorman, organized a volunteer search of the immediate area and different parts of the county.
Suzanne, who would have turned 50 April 30, was remembered on her birthday with a vigil in Poncha Springs during which a memorial bench was dedicated.
Less than a week later, Barry Morphew was taken into custody at about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday near his home in Poncha Springs on without incident by Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
He was taken to the Chaffee County Detention Facility where he is being held without bond.
Spezze said the arrest was the culmination of thousands of hours of investigation by more than 70 investigators from several law enforcement agencies.
The investigation has involved the execution of 135 search warrants across Colorado and interviews with more than 400 individuals in multiple states.
More than 1,400 tips were generated.
Investigators laid their case before the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s office in early April. The district attorney’s office then reviewed and decided to move forward with the arrest.
Stanley said it was a good day for all the men and women of law enforcement who worked tirelessly on the case.
“For my office this is where the work begins. There’s more work to be done,” Stanley said.
Stanley said it was a good day for Suzanne. “As far as I’m concerned today is all about Suzanne. It’s about her family and it’s about all the individuals that knew her and loved her and cared about her.”
She said the investigation is still ongoing.
“Suzanne’s body has not been found and we are still looking into that,” Stanley said.
Spezze thanked the community for its support of investigators over the last year.
Morphew will appear before 11th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Murphy in district court at 10:30 a.m. today for an advisement and to address bond.
As an ongoing investigation, law enforcement asks anyone who has information about this case to call 719-312-7530.