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The husband of a Colorado woman whose body was found last week after a three-year search is ‘relieved’ and convinced he will be now cleared of any suspicion of involvement, a source has claimed.
Suzanne Morphew, a 49-year-old mother of two, vanished on May 10, 2020, after going on a bike ride on Mother’s Day.
Her bike was found the day she went missing, discarded in a ravine near her mountain home in Salida, 140 miles south of Denver.
Investigators have revealed they found her ‘scattered remains’ 50 miles from her bike, in Moffat, Saguache County, while they were probing a completely separate case. She had been buried in a shallow grave, the coroner called to the site said, and her bones then dispersed over the years.
No arrests have been made since the remains were located on September 22, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Wednesday. Her identity was confirmed on September 27.
In May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared, her husband Barry Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder – despite police not having found a body.
Last year, prosecutors dropped all charges against Morphew after a judge sanctioned the district attorney’s office for discovery violations.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, despite objections from the defense, which means it could still be re-filed should new evidence come to light.
A source close to Barry Morphew told The US Sun that they thought he would be completely exonerated.
Suzanne Morphew vanished without a trace on May 10, 2020 after setting off from her home on a Mother’s Day bike ride. Her bike was found that same day, and now her body has finally been found, over three years later, in Moffat, Saguache County, while investigators were probing a completely separate case
Suzanne and her husband Barry had two daughters together. She vanished on Mother’s Day in 2020
‘It’s a relief but also a great sadness,’ a source close to Barry Morphew told the website.
‘We now know she’s not alive, which we’d desperately been hoping (for).
‘But we hope that Barry’s name can be cleared because of the location where she was found and the timing of it all.’
Barry Morphew was working in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver roughly 150 miles from the family home, at the time of his wife’s disappearance, and the body was found even further away.
The source added: ‘We are all in so much shock. Hopefully answers will be forthcoming.’
Barry Morphew is suing for $15 million after he was arrested on suspicion of his wife’s murder, only for charges to then be dropped.
John Spezze, Chaffee County sheriff, said on Wednesday: ‘While this case has garnered attention from around the world, it has touched our community and the sheriff’s office deeply.
‘We have never stopped our investigation and will continue to follow all leads in pursuit of justice for Suzanne.
‘Although locating Suzanne’s remains is a critical component of this investigation, and for her family, we are left with many more questions than answers, and it would be a disservice to conduct a news conference at this time.’
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has also refused to provide details about the discovery, but Tom Perrin, the coroner of Saguache County, said she was found in a remote, dry desert field of sagebrush and natural grasses south of Moffat.
He was called to collect her remains on September 22, and told The Denver Gazette it appeared that her body had been buried in a shallow grave before the remains scattered.
Melinda Moorman Balzer, Morphew’s older sister, told The Denver Gazette that they were told on Wednesday morning that Suzanne’s remains had been found. Barry Morphew, her next of kin, was informed first.
‘This is a miracle. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,’ Moorman Balzer said.
‘Colorado is a vast and rugged place and we have prayed that God would put light on where she is. We have been praying and here we are today.
‘It’s day of great sadness, but a day of celebration.’
She said the family still has unanswered questions.
‘This is just a small little snippet,’ she added.
‘A lot more will be revealed in time. We will be patient and trust the process.’
Suzanne Morphew was reported missing on May 10, 2020 – with her bike gone from the garage.
Her bike was found later that day, discarded down a ravine.
Five days later, on May 15, her bike helmet was discovered on the side of a highway less than half a mile from where her bike was found, a short distance from the family’s home.
No clothing, blood, or evidence of a struggle was found near the bike or helmet.
Her sunglasses and hydration backpack had been found inside her car, leading investigators to speculate that perhaps Suzanne never really went for a bike ride on the morning she vanished, and instead staged a scene.
Suzanne’s body was found on September 22 this year, 50 miles from her bike.
After Barry was charged with murder and the case against him progressed, authorities revealed intimate details about their married life.
Suzanne had been having an affair with someone she met in high school, Jeff Libler, while Barry was signed up to online affair websites.
When the case was still active, it was revealed that Suzanne, Barry and Libler appeared in the local paper together in 1985.
Barry Morphew with his daughters Mallory (right) and Macy (left)
Both men attended the same high school as Suzanne, with Barry two grades ahead of his wife and Libler at the Alexandria-Monroe High School in Alexandria, Indiana.
At a preliminary hearing in 2021, law enforcement officials presented to the court Suzanne’s text message exchanges with her lover, in which she told him she had a fine night and was looking at houses for sale.
When her husband came home from work that day, he found Suzanne sunbathing in the yard. She was sending pictures of herself to Libler via LinkedIn, which the couple had been using to communicate behind her husband’s back.
The court was then shown a photo of Suzanne that she had sent to Libler that day, which depicted her laying on her front in a bikini and smiling at her $1.3million home.
Barry would later tell investigators his wife looked ‘drunk’ in that photo, which officials said was Suzanne’s last proof of life.
The following day, Libler wished Suzanne Happy Mother’s Day and said he knew it would be a hard day for her because she missed her mother. Suzanne never replied.
His last known text to Suzanne was sent on May 11, 2020, in which he offered her well wishes for her cancer treatment. That message also went unanswered.
Suzanne had survived two battles with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, decades apart.
Barry Morphew with his two daughters on April 19 2022, after murder charges against him were dropped
Morphew was charged with his wife’s murder in 2021 – the charges were later dropped
The hearing in 2021 also revealed that just days prior, Suzanne texted her husband and apparently signaled to him her intention to end their rocky marriage, which was marked by accusations of infidelity and abuse.
‘I’m done,’ Suzanne wrote to Barry on May 6. ‘I couldn’t care less what you’re up to and have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.’
It has been revealed that Suzanne suspected her husband of being unfaithful to her and even purchased a spy pen to snoop on him.
Barry insisted to his wife that he was not cheating on her, writing in one text: ‘I promise you, you are wrong about all the crazy thoughts about me. Why would I want another, only a fool would stray from an angel like you.’
Police said the pair had a tumultuous marriage, with the suggestion being that he might have killed her out of jealousy or to stop her from filing for a divorce.
But last year, the charges were suddenly dropped without prejudice by Assistant District Attorney Linda Stanley.
In May this year, Barry Morphew and his two daughters with Suzanne spoke to ABC News’ Good Morning America.
They said Suzanne had made ‘bad decisions’ because she was struggling with drugs and chemotherapy while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Barry Morphew sits with his daughters Mallory (right) and Macy (left) as they break their silence following the disappearance of their mom – and murder charges being dropped against the dad
Barry Morphew, 55, the husband of Suzanne Morphew (right) has since filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking $15M claiming he was wrongfully charged with Colorado mom’s disappearance and murder
“It’s very hurtful to lose your reputation and your integrity.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 15, 2023
‘We had a wonderful life, a wonderful marriage,’ said Barry.
‘She was just so loving and giving, and such a good mother.
‘I know that she was going through chemotherapy for the last couple years before her disappearance.
‘I know she was going through some hard things and made some bad decisions. She was really having trouble with the chemotherapy and the drugs.’
Barry said that his heart was ‘broken’ when he found out his wife was having an affair with a man who she went to high school with.
Holding back his tears, he told ABC News: ‘My heart was broken. I didn’t believe it.’
When asked how the ordeal has left them, her daughters Mallory and Macy told ABC: ‘Very very sad. Very confused. So traumatic. Literally our worst nightmare.’
Asked if he had anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, Barry said: ‘Absolutely not. It’s very hurtful to lose your reputation and your integrity.’
Standing with their father, the women were asked if they ever questioned if their father’s innocence.
Mallory responded: ‘I’ve never had a shred of doubt.’
Macy added: ‘Not one.’
The family huddled together and hugged amid their tears during the interview.
The family huddled together and hugged during their interview with ABC. As they were asked if they ever questioned if their dad was not innocent, Mallory said: ‘I’ve never had a shred of doubt.’ Macy added: ‘Not one’
Barry said that his heart was ‘broken’ when he found out his wife was having an affair – and admitted that she made some mistakes while she was having cancer treatment
Slamming the prosecutors, who believed that Barry was involved with his wife’s disappearance, he reiterated: ‘They’re wrong. They’ve got tunnel vision.
‘They looked at one person and they’ve got too much pride to say they’re wrong and look somewhere else.’
When asked what the hardest part has been, Macy told ABC News: ‘Just not having mom.
‘It’s really difficult especially because of the lack of closure we have.’
Barry Morphew has filed a $15million federal civil rights lawsuit against more than 20 prosecutors and law enforcement officials for ‘irreparably’ tarnishing his ‘name and reputation’ with a ‘conspiracy to violate his state and federal constitutional rights.’
The 185-page complaint claims that the authorities conspired to wrongly arrest Morphew, that they fabricated evidence, concealed exculpatory evidence and conducted a reckless investigation, all which led to Morphew being wrongly prosecuted.
Alexandria-Monroe High School 1987 yearbook reveals Suzanne Morphew was classmates with Jeff Libler – the same man she is reported to have had a two-year affair with before she vanished on Mother’s Day 2020
Suzanne and Jeff were in the same grade, while her husband Barry Morphew was two years ahead
‘As result of the Defendant’s conduct Barry was charged, arrested, and prosecuted, and his property seized, for a crime he did not commit,’ the lawsuit says.
‘As result of the Defendants’ conduct Barry spent five months in jail, approximately 6 more months wearing a GPS ankle monitor with severe restrictions on his movement, and almost a year defending against the criminal charges. To this date, Barry’s property remains in the CCSD’s possession.’
The lawsuit claims that Morphew’s ‘name and reputation has been irreparably tarnished in Colorado and all around the country.’
Those named in the lawsuit including Chaffee County, the sheriff’s office and board of commissioners, 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley and her staff, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation and FBI agents.
Suzanne was 49 years old when she vanished, sparking a huge search and rescue effort.
At the time, Barry Morphew issued a series of tearful pleas for her return but soon became embroiled in the police investigation, with DailyMail.com reporting that Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials had descended on the home just three days after she went missing.
He had claimed to be on a landscaping job in Broomfield, Colorado, when his wife vanished but as DailyMail.com revealed in September 2020, co-workers were suspicious of his movements and said he had left his Holiday Inn hotel room stinking of bleach.
The lawsuit claims investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence of DNA from an alleged sex offender found in Suzanne’s property. Pictured, FBI and CBI officials at the scene in 2020
Barry’s defense team previously filed a lawsuit against 26 individuals in the investigation and prosecution of the case, alleging they intentionally with held evidence found at the crime scene
He also left a trash can filled with shredded correspondence that was later turned over to the CBI.
Morphew began the legal process of having Suzanne’s assets and their joint property transferred to him shortly after she vanished.
In November 2020, he cast a vote for Donald Trump in her name – claiming she would have done it anyway.
Investigators later said Morphew had told them he did it ‘just because I wanted to vote for Trump to win. I just thought, ‘Give him another vote.’
‘I figured all these other guys were cheating. I figured she (Suzanne) was going to vote for Trump anyway.’
In May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared, Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder – despite police not having found a body.
A hearing in September 2020 shredded Morphew’s description of his marriage to Suzanne as being a happy and loving one, with investigators revealing she had been having a long-running affair with married dad-of-six Jeff Libler.
Morphew is accused of murdering his wife, Suzanne, right, who went missing on Mother’s Day in 2020. Her body has never been found
Libler, who has never spoken about Suzanne, was due to testify at Morphew’s trial and received Suzanne’s final photo – a bikini selfie taken on May 9, 2020 in the garden of her $1.3m home.
The court also heard how spent tranquilizer cartridges were found inside the laundry room at the Morphew home, that Morphew had scratches on his arms in the days after Suzanne’s disappearance and that she had complained of his controlling behavior to her family.
A series of text messages revealed how anguished Suzanne had discussed ending her marriage in conversations with friends and called Morphew ‘a Jekyll and Hyde character’.
His defense attorneys spent most of the hearings attempting to pick holes in the prosecution case – pointing to unknown male DNA discovered in the glove box of her car and suggesting a link to a sex offender arrested in Arizona.
Morphew’s case was then scheduled for a full trial beginning May 1 but it was dramatically halted a week before it was due to start when prosecutors announced they were tossing the case.
The move came after the judge due to preside over the trial banned the prosecution from using a series of witnesses on the grounds of discovery violations, while police said they were close to finding Suzanne’s remains and were waiting for the snow to melt.