1 month since Suzanne Morphew vanished: Investigators canvassing Chaffee County community Wednesday

Suzanne Morphew was reported missing on Mother's Day 2020, photo courtesy Chaffee County...
Suzanne Morphew was reported missing on Mother's Day 2020, photo courtesy Chaffee County Sheriff's Office. Background shows law enforcement blocking a road as they search a property near Salida tied to the case on May 22, 2020. (KKTV)
Published: May. 12, 2020 at 11:52 AM MDT
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Investigators in a Colorado missing person case say they will be doing a community-wide canvas Wednesday to try and obtain new information to help push the case forward.

June 10 marks one month since 49-year-old Suzanne Morphew of Chaffee County left for a bike ride and never returned.

The case has been somewhat overshadowed by the series of protests that broke out towards the end of her third week missing, but the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says in time, authorities have continued following up on the hundreds of tips that have poured in since May 10.

CBI says the goal of Wednesday canvas is "to contact residents and others to not only share information about Ms. Morphew’s disappearance but also focus on obtaining any new information in her case."

Nearly two dozen members of law enforcement will be taking part.

The case began on Mother's Day when a neighbor reported Morphew missing. It was believed the avid cyclist had gone on a bike ride in the area of Chaffee County Road 225 and West Highway 50.

Since then, investigators have scoured the forest areas and local bodies of water, and in late May focused search efforts on a construction site in Salida where Morphew's husband Barry had allegedly laid dirt, the property owner told sister station KCNC. On the first day of the search, social media was buzzing with rumors that the woman had been located and an arrest had been made. Law enforcement later said those rumors were untrue.

"The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office relays that Ms. Morphew has not been located and there have been no arrests in the investigation," the CBI said in a release sent out on behalf of the sheriff's office.

Authorities said the property owner was fully cooperative with the investigation and was not connected with the case. No other details were released by law enforcement on the search, though sister station KCNC reports that at one point investigators were digging beneath a concrete slab.

Investigators spent three days at the site but said they didn't find anything to link it to the case.

"Investigators searched several locations on the property; however, they were unable to make any connection to Suzanne Morphew’s case at this time," the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Morphew's bike was reportedly recovered the night she vanished, and the sheriff's office confirmed on the 15th that an undisclosed “personal item” belonging to Morphew was found just west of CR 225 and Highway 50. There have been no reports of anything else belonging to Morphew recovered.

The family home where Morphew lives with her husband and two daughters was put under a law enforcement "hold," meaning no one was allowed in or out. A member of the sheriff's office said it is not unusual in an investigation like this to start investigating in the home and to extend outward. The hold was eventually released and the family was allowed to return to the home.

Authorities are asking residents in the area to preserve any and all video footage from devices such as Ring doorbells, security cameras, game cameras, etc., from May 8 through May 12. As search areas are identified, investigators will contact residents in those locations to collect any camera footage.

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

Spezze reiterated that someone out there may hold critical information on the investigation.

"Someone has that key piece of information in this case that will help us locate Suzanne, and I’m asking our community members to continue to use the tip line to provide any information, no matter how inconsequential the tip may seem."

That tip line is 719-312-7530. The public is asked not to call Chaffee County dispatch with questions.

Morphew's husband released a video one week after his wife went missing pleading for her safe return, which can be viewed just below this article. If reading this article on our app, click "Additional Content Available."

To date, personnel from Chaffee County Search and Rescue, Department of Corrections, the Chaffee County Combined Tac Team, 11th Judicial District, Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the Salida Police Department, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have assisted in the investigation.

The family is offering a $200,000 reward for any information that leads to finding Morphew and her safe return. Morphew's husband pledged one half of the reward and a family friend pledged the other.


Posted by Find Suzanne Morphew on Sunday, May 17, 2020