Suzanne Morphew thriller: Was a lacking Colorado mom murdered or kidnapped?

When Suzanne Morphew, a Colorado mom of two, vanished on Mom’s Day 2020, authorities initially thought possibly she was taken whereas driving her mountain bike. Authorities additionally had her husband Barry of their sights. Then, weird clues emerged – a chipmunk alibi, a tranquilizer gun, a spy pen and an affair.

The case gave investigators a mound of proof to sift by.

Suzanne Morphew
Suzanne Morphew

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

Investigators seen Barry’s cellular phone seemed to be pinging throughout his home on Mom’s Day weekend 2020, which he maintains was as a result of he was chasing and taking pictures at chipmunks. Investigators additionally discovered a plastic cap for a syringe that they consider was used to load a tranquilizer dart within the couple’s dryer. Barry, investigators say, informed them he did not know the way the cap acquired there, however admitted he was an skilled tranquilizer dart gun shooter. The cap, nevertheless, had Suzanne DNA on it, not Barry’s. Investigators additionally discovered a spy pen proper out of a James Bond film that was in a position to seize and document conversations. The pen captured a number of intimate conversations between Suzanne Morphew and a secret lover. Investigators additionally uncovered DNA on the glovebox of Suzanne Morphew’s Vary Rover, which traced again to an unknown male linked to 3 sexual assaults.

However prosecutors arrested Barry Morphew for first-degree homicide although Suzanne’s physique was by no means discovered. He pleaded not responsible.

What actually occurred to Suzanne Morphew? Barry talked to investigators dozens of instances, however they consider he is aware of greater than he is saying.

“When one thing like this occurs … when anyone goes lacking … you need solutions,” Aya Gruber, a regulation professor on the College of Colorado and a former protection lawyer, tells “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant. “However this case is extremely distinctive … if you began to dig a bit bit deeper. Nothing is what it appears.”


Dan Ridenour [riding in car with Peter Van Sant]: What occurred on this street is an actual thriller. Nobody is aware of. The place is Suzanne?

Within the days, weeks and months after Suzanne Morphew was reported lacking on Mom’s Day 2020, her path went chilly, however the mom of two’s disappearance had turn out to be the largest story in Colorado.

ANDREW MOORMAN [talking to searchers, CBS Denver news report]We’re gonna fan out and had been gonna work that space very fastidiously, OK?

4 months in, Suzanne’s brother, Andrew Moorman, organized a citizen’s search. He stated he felt he needed to do one thing — something.

ANDREW MOORMAN [to CBS Denver]: I hope to seek out her alive and in some unspecified time in the future, it’s important to notice when anyone’s been lacking after so lengthy, that the possibilities of that diminish dramatically.

The thought that Suzanne could have been kidnapped hit the peaceable, picturesque city of Salida laborious. 

Dan Ridenour: I got here dwelling on daily basis and my spouse requested me, “had they discovered her but?”

Dan Ridenour has coated the story for his native morning present.

Dan Ridenour: Barry and Suzanne Morphew weren’t identified effectively in Salida, Colorado …They’d solely been right here for a few years.

Morphew family
Suzanne and Barry Morphew with their daughters Macy, left, and Mallory, proper.

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

Earlier than transferring to Colorado in 2018, Barry and Suzanne grew up within the small city of Alexandria, Indiana, the place they met in highschool. Suzanne competed for homecoming queen. Barry was a star baseball participant who was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. Harm ended Barry’s goals of a serious league profession. They each attended Purdue College and married in 1994. He began a landscaping enterprise. Suzanne taught center college earlier than changing into a full-time mom.

Dan Ridenour: They’d a few daughters … one in faculty … They usually had a daughter in highschool …

Macy, 16 years previous when her mother disappeared, lived at dwelling. Her sister Mallory attended faculty and the Morphews informed some pals they moved to a house simply outdoors of Salida to be nearer to their older daughter. However there have been additionally rumblings in regards to the state of the Morphew’s marriage.

Dan Ridenour: Perhaps a brand new place, a brand new — dwelling, new surroundings round them … would strengthen their household and subsequently strengthen their marriage.

However the transfer didn’t seem to enhance the connection. It was a troublesome time, says her sister Melinda Moorman

Melinda Moorman: My sister had despatched me a textual content message … It was very prolonged. It was very highly effective. It was very revealing.

In a Zoom interview, Melinda stated she acquired Suzanne’s textual content two days earlier than she disappeared, and it was boiling over with anger towards Barry.

The textual content learn partially: “He is additionally been abusive emotionally and bodily… I really feel extra offended now. Anger at what I’ve allowed.”

Melinda Moorman: Barry was very dominant within the relationship, and my sister was a really passive, mild soul … he had … an awesome tendency to overpower, intimidate individuals to get what he wished.

Peter Van Sant: And what kinda boss was he?

Cody Cox: You recognize, he was actual quiet … stern … He knew what he was doin’, ‘trigger that is what he did in Indiana.

Cody Cox was a part of Barry’s landscaping crew for practically two years when Barry first arrived in Colorado.

Cody Cox: I talked fairly extremely about Barry ‘trigger I used to be with him on a regular basis. And he is like, an inspiration to me virtually … he was an actual cool man.

Cody stated he frequently heard Barry speaking to Suzanne as they drove in Barry’s truck. 

Cody Cox: : … they appeared to speak fairly effectively. Like I stated, I may hear virtually each cellphone name he had.

And he says he met Suzanne a handful of instances; she even made cookies for his spouse and children.

Cody Cox: She was a sweetheart. She was an actual sort woman … She’s virtually like an angel, like somethin’ you’d see off a Hallmark film, you understand … actual good, virtually too excellent.

Cody Cox: So, once I heard in regards to the information, I did not consider it … I heard it truly on the radio. And I used to be like, “Did they only say Suzanne?” And I used to be like, “Oh my gosh. Who’d even wanna harm her?”

The primary day authorities looked for Suzanne, they discovered her mountain bike near the Morphew dwelling.

Peter Van Sant [at ravine]: The place was the mountain bike discovered?  

Dan Ridenour [pointing]: It was discovered proper over this little cliff proper right here resting on these boulders.

Morphew evidence photo
This photograph taken from police physique cam footage exhibits Suzanne Morphew’s mountain bike after being found by sheriff’s deputies on the facet of a cliff off a street close to the household dwelling.

Chaffee County District Courtroom

Dan Ridenour: She was new at mountain biking. So, an accident is definitely believable. I might solely ask, “The place’s Suzanne?”

Peter Van Sant: She would have been injured, yeah?

Dan Ridenour: She would have been injured.

Peter Van Sant: Was there clothes discovered down right here?

Dan Ridenour: No.

Peter Van Sant: Was her helmet discovered down right here?

Dan Ridenour: No.

Investigators consider the scene was staged and, days later, they found Suzanne’s helmet roughly a mile away off Freeway 50.

Dan Ridenour [riding in car]: The helmet was discovered on the south facet of the street.

Peter Van Sant: So, this facet of the street?

Dan Ridenour: Which might be to our left.

Peter Van Sant: So, is the thought anyone threw it out of a window, maybe?

Dan Ridenour: That is the pondering, sure … 

It appeared as if Suzanne may have been kidnapped, and that is when Barry made a videotaped public plea on social media. In these early days, Barry had a idea about what occurred to Suzanne that he shared with Tyson Draper who has his personal YouTube channel. 

BARRY MORPHEW: The place are you from?

TYSON DRAPER: I am from Arizona.  


BARRY MORPHEW: Let me let you know what occurred.


They occurred to satisfy on the website the place Suzanne’s mountain bike was discovered and Tyson secretly videotaped Barry:

BARRY MORPHEW [to Draper]: The primary night time there was a mountain lion that officers seen that walked by the automotive. So, we thought that possibly she acquired attacked by a lion.

A mountain lion killed her?

Dan Ridenour: If that occurred, there would have been indicators of that … There would’ve been blood, there would’ve been a battle … So, that was a really short-lived hypothesis.

Authorities started to doubt that Suzanne even took a motorbike trip, particularly after her sun shades and hydration backpack had been present in her automotive.  Investigators additionally discovered her driver’s license and bank cards in her Vary Rover. However her cellular phone was lacking.

Peter Van Sant: Did Barry Morphew cooperate with investigators throughout the course of this?

Ashley Franco: He had been interviewed by investigators by the course of it and he talked to investigators virtually each time.

Ashley Franco, a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, KKTV, has learn the police paperwork within the case and attended the preliminary hearings. She says Barry has repeatedly informed the identical story. He got here dwelling round 3 p.m. on Could 9, 2020 and had a pleasing night with Suzanne. The subsequent morning, Mom’s Day, Barry says he drove to a job some 3 hours away.

Ashley Franco: He says the final time he sees his spouse is when she’s sleeping of their mattress.

As investigators started making an attempt to confirm Barry’s alibi, they had been pulled in a brand new course. Suzanne’s spy pen had surfaced with that intimate dialog. Now they wanted to determine the id of “Jeff,” Suzanne’s lover.  

Ashley Franco: May this man have had one thing to do with Suzanne’s disappearance?


It was simply days after Suzanne Morphew went lacking when investigators make that intriguing discovery.

Aya Gruber: They uncover a spy pen.

Peter Van Sant: A spy pen? 

Peter Van Sant: A spy pen.

Aya Gruber is a professor of regulation on the College of Colorado and a former protection lawyer.  She has intently studied all the general public investigative recordsdata within the Morphew case; she is aware of it was not straightforward for investigators to seek out Suzanne’s secret lover: a person named “Jeff.”

Aya Gruber: She hid that affair so effectively that it took … brokers six months to seek out the person she was having an affair with.

Jeff Libler
Jeff Libler

“Jeff” turned out to be Jeff Libler and he had a spouse and 6 kids in Michigan the place he lived. He and Suzanne had a one-time fling after highschool. A long time handed till Suzanne reached out to Jeff, out of the blue, in 2018.

Ashley Franco: When Suzanne and Barry moved to Colorado, Suzanne messaged him on Fb.

Peter Van Sant: And what did she message him?

Ashley Franco: “Howdy Stranger.” … And from that second that they had talked virtually each single day nonstop.

Within the months after Suzanne went lacking, Jeff stored quiet.  He solely started cooperating after he was situated by investigators, who discovered Jeff had taken steps to cover the practically two-year affair.

Aya Gruber: What he did was delete all his social media accounts that he had used to speak with Suzanne. … He is acquired loads to lose if revelations of this affair come out.

Jeff informed brokers he solely took these steps as a result of he didn’t wish to tarnish Suzanne’s reminiscence and frightened he may lose his household and job. He was additionally frightened brokers thought-about him a suspect.  

Aya Gruber: … he asks the brokers, “Am I a goal?”

Though he didn’t come ahead on his personal, Jeff did help brokers after they discovered him. He agreed to offer entry to his DNA, cellphone information and his passwords for these deleted accounts. By wanting by the couple’s iCloud accounts and cellphone information, brokers had been in a position to piece collectively their relationship, together with the instances they met in particular person.

Ashley Franco: Investigators additionally discovered that Suzanne, on a number of situations, had gone on trip to satisfy up with Jeff in many alternative states, starting from Louisiana to Florida.

Investigators additionally found they’d despatched intimate images to one another, talked of changing into husband and spouse, and even talked about leaving the US. 

Ashley Franco: Jeff and Suzanne had talked about transferring away … transferring to Ecuador at one level …

Peter Van Sant: In case you had been an investigator as a substitute of a regulation professor, what would you wanna learn about this Jeff Libler?

Aya Gruber: All the things. I might wanna know every thing about what he was doing, what he was pondering. … Right here is anyone who arguably had the final communication … with Suzanne earlier than she went lacking.

The love affair between Suzanne and Jeff turned a key a part of the investigation as brokers tried to determine what occurred to her on that Saturday, Could 9, the day earlier than Mom’s Day.

Data present that Suzanne and Jeff messaged one another 59 instances that day, rather more than common, authorities say.

Suzanne Morphew
On Could 9, the day earlier than Mom’s Day, information present Suzanne Morphew and her lover messaged one another 59 instances main up to date investigators consider Barry Morphew murdered his spouse.  At one level, Suzanne messaged her lover this selfie, which investigators dubbed her final “proof of life” photograph.

Chaffee County District Courtroom

At one level, Suzanne sends Jeff a selfie. Investigators dub it her final “proof of life” photograph. Barry was not dwelling, because the lovers’ texts warmth up:

At 2:05 p.m., Suzanne writes: “I am simply in love with you. Whatcha as much as?” 

Jeff’s response at 2:06 p.m. was: “Wish to strip down and get bare? LOL??” 

She responds by saying she’ll “load up” her WhatsApp account after which at 2:11 p.m., Suzanne writes, “Okay I am on WA”.

Then, at 2:26 p.m., Suzanne will get a textual content from Barry that he is heading dwelling. “Completed headed again.”

Nobody is aware of if Suzanne noticed that textual content or was preoccupied with Jeff, however she doesn’t reply.

Barry follows up, showing to surprise the place Suzanne is. “Did you permit?”

There was nonetheless no response from Suzanne and investigators speculate the following few moments are when Barry returned dwelling. They discover that Barry’s cellular phone seems to be pinging throughout the skin of his home. Was he chasing Suzanne earlier than a ultimate and deadly confrontation? 

Investigators requested Barry to clarify that uncommon cellphone exercise.

Aya Gruber: And he says, “Nicely, lemme take into consideration that. I used to be in all probability strolling round my home taking pictures chipmunks.”

You heard proper — it was maybe the world’s first chipmunk alibi.  Barry says the chipmunks had been a relentless nuisance at his home and he’d been operating round taking pictures them that day.

Aya Gruber: After which that confession to taking pictures chipmunks turns into a serious piece of incriminating proof towards him.

Peter Van Sant: As a result of?

Aya Gruber: As a result of they’re saying, “Nicely, you understand, now he is admitting to having run round the home. And this can be a ridiculous clarification, so it should be the reason of a responsible particular person.”

There was no proof of any chipmunk shootings round Barry’s home. A part of his downside, Aya says, is that Barry granted between 30 and 40 interviews — all and not using a lawyer — to everybody from a county detective to members of the FBI.

Peter Van Sant: Would you could have allowed him to do all these interviews?

Aya Gruber: No. Completely not.

In the meantime, Jeff Libler was cleared. He informed brokers he was in Michigan that weekend and his alibi checked out. When investigators inform Barry of the affair, he denies realizing something about it.  

Suzanne and Barry Morphew
Suzanne and Barry Morphew

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

But when Barry knew nothing about Suzanne’s affair, what motive would he must kill her? One clue could also be a deleted textual content that investigators discovered on Barry’s cellphone despatched by Suzanne simply days earlier than: “I am completed. I may care much less what you are as much as and have been for years. We simply must determine this out civilly.”

Dan Ridenour: So, the one factor that is smart is that Barry Morphew misplaced it when Suzanne lastly stated, “I am leaving you.”

Barry knew that his daughters can be away on their tenting journey that Saturday afternoon and authorities say he took benefit of that chance to kill Suzanne and clear up the crime scene.

Peter Van Sant: From 2:47 p.m. till 10:17 p.m., slightly below 8 hours, Barry’s cellphone goes into airplane mode. What do authorities consider occurred throughout that point?

Ashley Franco: Authorities say that they consider, when his cellphone went into airplane mode, that he was disposing of potential proof.

Unable to trace Barry’s cellular phone, investigators tapped into a comparatively new investigative approach — digital car forensics — to tug a stream of information out of Barry’s Ford truck. And Barry’s truck informed a special story than what he was telling investigators.

Ashley Franco: They had been utilizing Barry’s personal automotive towards him.


Ben LeMere is an professional within the new subject of auto forensics. 

Peter Van Sant: Give me a way of how your expertise, out of your firm, helps clear up felony circumstances.

Ben LeMere: So, a lotta instances it is used to … find our bodies.

LeMere is the CEO of the Berla Company.

Ben LeMere: It helps … get individuals convicted. It is helped get individuals not convicted.

Investigators from Scotland Yard to the FBI have discovered how one can use Berla’s software program to faucet into the handfuls of computer systems in a automotive.

Peter Van Sant: It is correct sufficient for use as proof in court docket circumstances, appropriate?

Ben LeMere: Sure, sir.

Circumstances just like the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew. Investigators created a Berla report, which means they tapped into the info in Barry’s Ford truck to trace its actions after his cellular phone went into airplane mode. 

Aya Gruber: … a few the items of proof that I feel are very dangerous to his case — come from the info within the automotive …

Ashley Franco: The prosecution’s case is that Barry snapped at one level the day earlier than Mom’s Day.

Barry Morphew's truck
Authorities say Barry Morphew informed them he went to mattress round 8 p.m. on Could 9, however his truck’s pc exhibits the truck, seen right here on this proof photograph, was put in reverse and backed up in the direction of the home round 9:30 p.m. 

Chaffee County District Courtroom

Authorities consider Barry killed Suzanne that afternoon. He informed brokers he went to mattress round 8 p.m. that night time, however the information pulled from the truck exhibits that the truck was put in reverse and moved some 96 toes nearer to his home round 9:30 p.m.

Ashley Franco: Investigators suppose that is when he may have loaded Suzanne’s physique.

Initially, Barry informed police that he set his alarm for 4:30 a.m. on Mom’s Day and left the home by 5 a.m. to drive to a job website in Broomfield, a city close to Denver, 150 miles from Salida. However the truck’s computer systems present that somebody was opening and shutting the truck’s doorways round 3:30 a.m.

Investigators consider Barry started driving towards Broomfield a lot sooner than he claimed, however there’s a 4-hour window—roughly 4 a.m. to eight a.m.—when no exercise was recorded by the car’s computer systems. 

Aya Gruber: … there are occasions within the automotive — that are not recorded. So, they can not give type of a full chronological image.

And if Barry hid Suzanne’s physique throughout that 4-hour window, the truck’s information doesn’t present solutions.

Peter Van Sant: Why is information lacking generally?

Ben Lemere: Nicely, it will get overwritten. You recognize, it’s a pc … Log recordsdata, they solely final so lengthy.

However Barry helped fill in a number of the lacking information. He informed brokers he took a left upon leaving his dwelling as a substitute of a proper as a result of, although it was darkish, he remembered seeing some elk.

Ashley Franco: He noticed a herd of elk, and he is a hunter. So, he was , and he wished to get an up-close look.

That admission was vital to brokers as a result of it put him in an space the place a key piece of proof had been recovered.

Ashley Franco: Investigators discovered Suzanne’s bike helmet up that street. So, they consider, at that time when he turned left as a substitute of turning proper, that he may have been ditching her bike helmet.

At 8:10 a.m. on Mom’s Day morning, the truck’s computer systems once more start recording information. And by then, Barry’s cellular phone had additionally come again to life. Brokers are in a position to observe Barry’s cell and truck actions and may see that he first pulled over at a Broomfield bus cease the place he discarded one thing in a rubbish can. 

Ashley Franco: After which he strikes on to a lodge trash can, a McDonald’s trash can … a dumpster … in a Males’s Wearhouse parking zone, after which again to the lodge, and dumps stuff in a dumpster there. Investigators consider that in these “trash runs,” he was disposing of proof elsewhere throughout the Denver space.

Barry Morphew surveillance
On Could 10, the day Suzanne Morphew is reported lacking, investigators found Barry Morphew threw out trash at a number of places round Broomfield, Colorado, whereas on the town for work. This photograph, taken from lodge surveillance footage, exhibits Barry throwing out trash in a dumpster. He informed investigators he typically dropped trash in accessible bins to keep away from paying to have it disposed of at a landfill.  Investigators, nevertheless, consider Barry was disposing of proof.

Chaffee County District Courtroom

In a surveillance shot of Barry on a type of trash runs, investigators couldn’t see what he was throwing away. It could have regarded incriminating, however Barry claims it was simply one other day on the workplace. He informed brokers he was merely being low-cost, not felony.

Peter Van Sant: And his declare, effectively, I simply all the time have a lotta junk in — within the car. I do not prefer to pay to have it — disposed at a landfill, I — that is simply what I do.

Ashley Franco: But it surely’s suspicious that you’d go to 5 totally different trash areas to eliminate a number of issues. Why not simply do it at one?

After testing the work website, Barry headed again to his room on the Vacation Inn, and investigators say he stayed there from 12:42 p.m. to six:03 p.m. By then, he’d already spoken to older daughter Mallory who informed him she couldn’t get in contact together with her mom.

That is when the Morphew neighbors had been contacted and will discover no signal of Suzanne.

Dan Ridenour: Barry requested them at the moment if the bike was there, to go test on her … her bicycle is just not right here.

Barry asks his neighbor to name 911.

Dan Ridenour: And that is when the decision to 911 … was positioned, that Suzanne is lacking.

Ashley Franco: Barry does not head dwelling instantly, and he’s dropping some instruments off for his coworkers.

Instruments together with a shovel. With Suzanne now formally reported lacking, Barry tells his employees there is a household emergency and arranges lodge rooms with a type of employees taking up Barry’s room.

Ashley Franco: When the worker was interviewed, he informed investigators that … the room that Barry checked out of, it had a robust scent of chlorine or bleach.

Peter Van Sant: Which suggests what?

Ashley Franco: That he might be cleansing up against the law scene.

Simply after 6 p.m., Barry begins driving again to Salida. On the best way, Barry speaks to sheriff deputies who advise him they’ve discovered Suzanne’s bike and he arrives at that ravine at round 8:40 p.m.  

Ashley Franco: And investigators say that when he arrived there, he was fairly emotional for a couple of minutes.

By Sunday night time, Suzanne’s daughters had been again dwelling however Suzanne is nowhere to be discovered. Barry supplied a $100,000 reward for data that was later doubled to $200,000.

Suzanne Morphew texts
A slew of  textual content messages between Suzanne Morphew and an in depth good friend within the months and days main as much as her disappearance reveal the Morphews’ marriage remained rocky. 

Chaffee County District Courtroom

Investigators later found many texts from Suzanne to an in depth good friend that apparently revealed her tormented emotions about Barry:

“He will not converse of divorce …”

“I really feel no peace when he is right here …”

“I would not really feel protected alone with him …”

Barry turned the prime suspect and investigators suppose they know the way he killed Suzanne. 


Whereas investigators searched the Morphew dwelling and the household’s vehicles and vans, Barry continued to speak, seemingly to anybody with a badge. Weeks and months glided by and Barry remained on the heart of the investigation. 

Aya Gruber: … police are completely appropriate as a statistical matter to have a look at intimate companions … once they suspect {that a} lady may’ve been harmed or murdered.

Peter Van Sant: It is one thing like eight out of 10 instances, when a partner dies the opposite one’s concerned.

Aya Gruber: Completely.

Typically the smallest merchandise will flip an investigation, and, on this case, brokers seized on a transparent plastic cap {that a} forensics staff had discovered within the household’s dryer. 

Morphew evidence
Investigators found this clear plastic needle cap within the Morphew household’s dryer.

Chaffee County District Courtroom

Aya Gruber: And the cap was to a syringe that is used to fill a dart that you’d use to tranquilize, say, animals.

Peter Van Sant: How do prosecutors interpret that?

Aya Gruber: The prosecution’s idea is that in some unspecified time in the future, when Barry got here dwelling on the ninth and snapped, and determined to homicide Suzanne, he used a tranquilizer dart that you’d use on animals …

There was no working tranquilizer rifle discovered within the Morphew’s dwelling. However Barry informed investigators he was an skilled tranquilizer dart gun shooter. He knew how one can load darts with paralyzing chemical compounds, having used them to illegally sedate deer and take away their antlers to promote.

Morphew garage
The within of the Morphews’ storage with Barry’s assortment of deer heads and a pile of antlers.

Chaffee County District Courtroom

We requested Dan Ridenour to learn a few of what Barry informed investigators.

Dan Ridenour [reading]: Barry stated, “The very first thing I considered once I got here right here and noticed deer in my yard with massive horns, I am like, ‘I am getting them horns.'”

Dan Ridenour [reading]: “And I am going to let you know precisely what I did … I shoot ’em. They fall asleep, I reduce their horns off … It’s very unlawful … However you are gonna discover tranq darts round my property as a result of I’ve completed that.”

Specialists say it could actually take between 4 and 20 minutes for an animal the scale of a deer to drop after being shot with a tranquilizer dart. Brokers theorized that Barry’s cellphone had pinged from numerous places round the home—not as a result of he was taking pictures chipmunks, however as a result of he was chasing Suzanne after he shot her. 

Ashley Franco: Investigators discover a doorframe throughout the Morphew dwelling that has been damaged. They usually say that there may have been a chase after which a battle.

Andrew Katers, the proprietor and CEO of Animal Care and Gear Providers, confirmed us a tranquilizer rifle he’d sometimes use on animals.

Peter Van Sant: And what are you holding?

Andrew Katers: What I am holding is a TeleDart mannequin 706 rifle … they use this loads in parks all through the nation.

Peter Van Sant: And this doesn’t fireplace bullets or shot?

Andrew Katers: It solely fires darts. … It is unattainable to — get it to do anything.

Peter Van Sant: May you now display for me?

Andrew Katers: Certain. [fires rifle]

Peter Van Sant: So, if Suzanne had been struck by considered one of these darts … would she have time to run round, attempt to escape?

Andrew Katers: She may. However I do not suppose she would get very far.

Peter Van Sant: For a human being, it might be deadly.

Andrew Katers: For positive.

Bolstering the speculation that Barry and Suzanne had a confrontation the day she disappeared had been obvious scratches seen on Barry’s left arm. Brokers took the circumstantial proof they gathered — Barry’s apparently suspicious habits, his contradictory statements, the puzzling information from his truck, Suzanne’s disturbing texts and people 5 trash runs — and introduced all of it to the district lawyer.

On practically the anniversary of Suzanne’s disappearance, Barry is arrested in Could 2021.

Barry Morphew
Barry Morphew’s was arrested practically a yr after Suzanne’s disappearance. Regardless of not having discovered his spouse’s physique, he was charged with first-degree homicide and tampering with bodily proof and different fees.

Chaffee County Sheriff’s Workplace

NEWS REPORT: Tonight, the husband of Suzanne Morphew is behind bars accused of killing her. … The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Workplace says that Barry Morphew was arrested this morning. 

Suzanne’s physique has by no means been discovered and the prosecutors assume she’s useless. Regardless of the dearth of a physique, Barry was charged with first-degree homicide, tampering with bodily proof, and quite a lot of different allegations. He was held with out bail and finally pleaded not responsible.

Of their arrest affidavit, prosecutors spelled out what they consider occurred to Suzanne:

“It had turn out to be clear that Barry couldn’t management Suzanne’s insistence on leaving him and he resorted to one thing he has completed his complete life — hunt and management Suzanne like he had hunted and managed animals.”

Suzanne’s sister Melinda reacted to the information of Barry’s arrest. 

Melinda Moorman: There are not any winners on this story. There are two households who’re struggling deeply.

Barry in the end employed high-profile attorneys from Denver, and, in the summertime of 2021, Decide Patrick Murphy heard the prosecution’s proof in open court docket.

Ashley Franco: He determined to carry a preliminary listening to to see if this case had sufficient proof to go to trial.

The protection tried mightily to blunt the state’s case, countering that the clear, plastic cap discovered within the dryer means nothing as a result of nobody may say how lengthy it had been there. Moreover, Suzanne’s DNA was discovered on the cap, not Barry’s. And as for that chlorine scent in Barry’s lodge room …

Aya Gruber: One of many managers from the Vacation Inn had truly communicated to brokers that this scent of chlorine existed earlier than Barry Morphew was there … as a result of that room’s immediately above an indoor pool.

And there was yet one more essential challenge the prosecution needed to take care of — one which its personal forensic staff uncovered. DNA proof made public for the primary time now threatened to destroy the case towards Barry.

Aya Gruber: This DNA discovery is so vital. The brokers swab the within of Suzanne Morphew’s automotive and so they discovered male DNA on the glove field, and it wasn’t Barry Morphew’s DNA. He was eradicated. 

The DNA additionally didn’t match Suzanne’s lover Jeff Libler. But it surely did partially match the DNA of an unknown male who had attacked different ladies and it raised a disturbing query: had Suzanne fallen into the arms of a sexual predator? As implausible as it could sound …

Aya Gruber: It takes on a very totally different mild if you have a look at this DNA proof. And hastily, the seemingly implausible turns into extra potential.


In September 2021 on the Chaffee County Courthouse in Salida, Decide Patrick Murphy heard arguments about whether or not there was sufficient proof to strive Barry Morphew for homicide.

Ashley Franco: The decide named off three totally different eventualities, saying, “Suzanne Morphew left willingly, Barry Morphew may have killed his spouse, or another person kidnapped Suzanne and killed her.”

He stated it was “unlikely” Suzanne had run off on her personal, although she and lover Jeff Libler had mentioned transferring to Ecuador.  

Ashley Franco: The decide says that due to the proof that is … been offered about how loving Suzanne was towards her daughters and towards her household … that she may by no means try this.”

Suzanne Morphew's car
Investigators found mysterious male DNA on this Vary Rover belonging to Suzanne Morphew. In October 2020, DNA testing revealed not less than a partial match to an unnamed man linked to 3 unsolved sexual assault circumstances in Tempe, Phoenix and Chicago. Had Suzanne fallen into the arms of a sexual predator?

Chaffee County District Courtroom

However the abduction idea couldn’t be so simply dismissed — particularly after that mysterious DNA was present in Suzanne’s Vary Rover. Investigators discovered that DNA not less than partially matched the profile of an unnamed man linked to 3 unsolved sexual assault circumstances in Tempe, Phoenix and Chicago.

Peter Van Sant: So how can that DNA find yourself in her automotive?

Aya Gruber: Nicely, that DNA can find yourself in her automotive if she was the sufferer, for instance, of a serial killer … or if the particular person was employed or opportunistic … There is also doubtlessly an harmless clarification that in some unspecified time in the future, you understand, the particular person got here in touch with the automotive randomly as a mechanic … however it is extremely, very curious.

Peter Van Sant: Barry Morphew can arise and say, “I am not your killer. The person whose DNA is in my spouse’s automotive, tied to previous sexual assaults, that is your killer.”

Ashley Franco: Barry Morphew completely may say that. And that is what his protection is banking on on this case.

In frank language, Decide Murphy gave his opinion of the state’s proof: “I discover that the proof is just not evident neither is the presumption nice that Mr. Morphew dedicated first-degree homicide.”

Regardless of that, the decide dominated there was possible trigger to go to trial.

Aya Gruber: However this decide was very cautious to say, “Look, I am discovering possible trigger right here, however it’s solely as a result of I’m all of the proof within the mild most favorable to the prosecution.”

Murphy stated he was “obligated” to set bond for Barry.

Ashley Franco: The decide units $500,000 cash-only bond.

Peter Van Sant: And are they monitoring him in some style?

Ashley Franco: Barry Morphew is sporting an ankle monitor for them to trace him, to be sure that he’s staying in Chaffee County.

Barry Morphew and daughters
Barry Morphew pleaded not responsible to all fees and on September 20, 2021, he was launched from jail on bond along with his daughters by his facet. They steadfastly assist their father, attending most of his court docket hearings like this one in December of 2021.


A couple of days afterward September 20, 2021, Barry Morphew and daughters Mallory and Macy are all smiles as they depart the jail. They stand firmly behind their dad. Barry had talked to scores of investigators since his spouse’s disappearance however, by his attorneys, he declined to be interviewed or to make an announcement to “48 Hours,” citing court docket guidelines and orders.  

In October 2021, Barry Morphew’s civil attorneys introduced a daring transfer. They intend to file a civil lawsuit claiming that prosecutors and investigators deliberately withheld “exculpatory proof” that will have pointed to Barry’s innocence.

Ashley Franco: In line with this letter of intent to sue, it says that prosecutors offered protection attorneys with proof … that they acquired after the preliminary listening to saying that they … now know the one that this DNA matches.

Nothing else about this unnamed particular person or his whereabouts on the day Suzanne went lacking has been launched publicly

Aya Gruber: It is a laborious case for the prosecution.

Dan Ridenour: Individuals are in search of that smoking gun … individuals are very involved that when this goes to a jury, that they will not have the ability to discover him responsible.

Aya Gruber: This case is basically in regards to the limits that the felony authorized system has to present us closure … When anyone goes lacking who’s beloved and had kids … you need the unhealthy man to be held accountable however in some circumstances they’re simply mysteries.

Suzanne’s sister Melinda says she thinks about Barry loads and desires he would simply inform the reality about what occurred between him and Suzanne.

Melinda Moorman: Please do the proper factor, Barry. Please do the proper factor.

Suzanne Morphew and daughters
Susanne Morphew, heart, with daughters Macy, left, and Mallory.

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

And Melinda needs her nieces to know one factor about their mom.

Melinda Moorman: “Mallory, Macy … Your mom would have laid down her life for you ladies … She would by no means depart you. She would by no means forsake you. She beloved you together with her complete being.

Decide Patrick Murphy disqualified himself primarily based on a possible battle of curiosity involving a potential witness. A brand new decide has been appointed.

Barry Morphew’s homicide trial is scheduled for Could 2022.

The Morphew protection staff has requested a change of venue.

Produced by Paul La Rosa. Elena DiFiore is the sphere producer. Stephen A. McCain is the event producer. Atticus Brady, Michael Baluzy and George Baluzy are the editors. Peter Schweitzer is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the manager story editor. Judy Tygard is the manager producer.

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