Husband of Suzanne Morphew appears in Colorado courtroom 1 day following arrest for her suspected murder
CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Nearly one year to the day since a Colorado mother of two disappeared, her husband stood before a judge, formally named a murder suspect for the first time.
We learned on Friday that the arrest affidavit for Barry Morphew will remain sealed until at least May 13th.
The court requested each side give their position on the issue of unsealing the affidavit, since the media and public will ask for its release. The prosecution did not object to unsealing the arrest papers. The defense counsel has until May 13th to make their decision on unsealing it. If the defense objects the matter will be set for a hearing.
Clad in an orange and white striped jumpsuit, legs shackled, Barry Morphew sat quietly inside the small Salida courtroom, only uttering a few words when asked if understood his rights.
Morphew, who at one time pleaded on camera for his wife Suzanne’s safe return, is now the prime suspect in her disappearance. He is charged with murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant.
Suzanne Morphew went missing on May 10, 2020, Mother’s Day, while out for a bike ride near her Chaffee County home. On May 6, 2021, Barry Morphew was arrested for her suspected murder. (Read more about the case here.)
“Today is not the day for celebration, nor does it mark the end of our investigation,” Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said Wednesday during a news cfollowing Morphew’s arrest. “Every action in our investigation our investigators took in the past year led to today’s arrest.”
Barry Morphew was arrested at 9:15 Wednesday morning near his home in Poncha Springs. He was alone at the time of his arrest and taken into custody without incident, the sheriff said.
The arrest “marks the culmination of thousands of hours in this comprehensive investigative effort to locate the mother of two who went missing on May 10, 2020,” Spezze said.
More than 70 investigators from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and dozens of local law enforcement agency partners have provided their expertise on this case, executed more than 135 search warrants across Colorado, and have interviewed more than 400 individuals in multiple states. The team has also investigated more than 1,400 tips.
Investigators presented their findings to the district attorney’s office in early April.
“In that multiple-hour presentation, we outlined all of the information and evidence we have taken in over the past 12 months. Following that meeting, the district attorney’s office reviewed our case and information and solidified their decision to move forward on this case,” Spezze said.
Law enforcement is remaining tight-lipped on what that evidence is and how it allegedly points to Barry Morphew. But the district attorney said she believes prosecutors have a strong case.
“That’s my job. I’m the one that considers how strong my case is before I bring charges, and I wouldn’t bring charges unless I was confident,” said 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley.
Stanley and Spezze would not comment on what investigators believe happened to Suzanne Morphew.
“At this time without the body, we would not be able to say that publicly. We do have information that led us to this point today and how with think a certain scenario occurred, but as we investigate further, that may change,” Stanley said.
Morphew is currently being held without bond in the Chaffee County jail. The judge ruled Thursday in favor of a protection order that will allow Morphew some contact with his two daughters he shared with Suzanne.
His next court date is May 27.
TIMELINE OF THE CASE:
- May 10, 2020: Suzanne Morphew goes missing.
- May 11, 2020: Search crews are called to the area she was believed to be in near hear Chaffee County home.
- May 15, 2020: Items belonging to Suzanne were found
- May 17, 2020: Barry, the husband of Suzanne, shares a video with the public asking for help with finding her. It can be viewed at the bottom of this article
- May 19, 2020: Authorities search the Morphew home
- May 22, 2020: A separate residential property is searched, where a concrete foundation had just been poured
- May 5, 2021: Barry Morphew is arrested
- May 6, 2021: First court appearance for Barry Morphew
The video below was shared by Barry in May of 2020 soon after his wife went missing:
To date, multiple law enforcement agencies have conducted numerous searches and taken hundreds of tips. Our previous coverage on her case can be found here.
According to the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the body of Suzanne Morphew has still not been found.
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