Suzanne Morphew mystery: Was a missing Colorado mother murdered or abducted?

When Suzanne Morphew, a Colorado mom of 2, vanished on Mom’s Day 2020, government to start with idea perhaps she was once taken whilst using her mountain motorbike. Government additionally had her husband Barry of their attractions. Then, unusual clues emerged – a chipmunk alibi, a tranquilizer gun, a undercover agent pen and an affair.

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

Suzanne Morphew
Suzanne Morphew

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

Investigators spotted Barry’s mobile phone looked to be pinging throughout his area on Mom’s Day weekend 2020, which he maintains was once as a result of he was once chasing and capturing at chipmunks. Investigators additionally discovered a plastic cap for a syringe that they consider was once used to load a tranquilizer dart within the couple’s dryer. Barry, investigators say, advised them he did not know the way the cap were given there, however admitted he was once an skilled tranquilizer dart gun shooter. The cap, on the other hand, had Suzanne DNA on it, no longer Barry’s. Investigators additionally discovered a undercover agent pen proper out of a James Bond film that was once 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 exposed DNA at the glovebox of Suzanne Morphew’s Vary Rover, which traced again to an unknown male hooked up to a few sexual attacks.

However prosecutors arrested Barry Morphew for first-degree homicide despite the fact that Suzanne’s frame was once by no means discovered. He pleaded no longer responsible.

What truly came about to Suzanne Morphew? Barry talked to investigators dozens of instances, however they consider he is aware of greater than he is pronouncing.

“When one thing like this occurs … when any person is going lacking … you need solutions,” Aya Gruber, a legislation professor on the College of Colorado and a former protection legal professional, tells “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant. “However this example is amazingly distinctive … whilst you began to dig a bit bit deeper. Not anything is what it sort of feels.”


Dan Ridenour [riding in car with Peter Van Sant]: What came about in this street is an actual thriller. No person is aware of. The place is Suzanne?

Within the days, weeks and months after Suzanne Morphew was once reported lacking on Mom’s Day 2020, her path went chilly, however the mom of 2’s disappearance had turn out to be the most important tale in Colorado.

ANDREW MOORMAN [talking to searchers, CBS Denver news report]We are gonna fan out and have been gonna paintings that house very moderately, OK?

4 months in, Suzanne’s brother, Andrew Moorman, arranged a citizen’s seek. He mentioned he felt he needed to do one thing — anything else.

ANDREW MOORMAN [to CBS Denver]: I’m hoping to seek out her alive and one day, you need to understand when any person’s been lacking after goodbye, that the possibilities of that diminish dramatically.

The idea that Suzanne can have been kidnapped hit the non violent, picturesque the city of Salida exhausting. 

Dan Ridenour: I got here house each day and my spouse requested me, “had they discovered her but?”

Dan Ridenour has coated the tale for his native morning display.

Dan Ridenour: Barry and Suzanne Morphew weren’t recognized smartly 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

Prior to shifting to Colorado in 2018, Barry and Suzanne grew up within the small the city of Alexandria, Indiana, the place they met in highschool. Suzanne competed for homecoming queen. Barry was once a celeb baseball participant who was once drafted by means of the Toronto Blue Jays. Damage ended Barry’s goals of a big league profession. They each attended Purdue College and married in 1994. He began a landscaping industry. Suzanne taught center college ahead of 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 outdated when her mother disappeared, lived at house. Her sister Mallory attended faculty and the Morphews advised some buddies they moved to a house simply out of doors 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 position, a brand new — house, new surroundings round them … would enhance their circle of relatives and subsequently enhance their marriage.

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

Melinda Moorman: My sister had despatched me a textual content message … It was once very long. It was once very robust. It was once very revealing.

In a Zoom interview, Melinda mentioned she gained Suzanne’s textual content two days ahead of she disappeared, and it was once boiling over with anger towards Barry.

The textual content learn partly: “He is additionally been abusive emotionally and bodily… I believe extra indignant now. Anger at what I have allowed.”

Melinda Moorman: Barry was once very dominant within the courting, and my sister was once an excessively passive, mild soul … he had … a really perfect tendency to overpower, intimidate other folks to get what he sought after.

Peter Van Sant: And what kinda boss was once he?

Cody Cox: You already know, he was once actual quiet … stern … He knew what he was once doin’, ‘motive that is what he did in Indiana.

Cody Cox was once a part of Barry’s landscaping team for just about two years when Barry first arrived in Colorado.

Cody Cox: I talked beautiful extremely about Barry ‘motive I used to be with him at all times. And he is like, an inspiration to me nearly … he was once an actual cool man.

Cody mentioned he steadily heard Barry chatting with Suzanne as they drove in Barry’s truck. 

Cody Cox: : … they perceived to keep in touch beautiful smartly. Like I mentioned, I may just pay attention nearly each telephone name he had.

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

Cody Cox: She was once a sweetheart. She was once an actual type girl … She’s nearly like an angel, like somethin’ you’ll see off a Hallmark film, you understand … actual great, nearly too easiest.

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

The primary day government looked for Suzanne, they discovered her mountain motorbike with reference to the Morphew house.

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

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

Morphew evidence photo
This photograph taken from police frame cam pictures presentations Suzanne Morphew’s mountain motorbike after being found out by means of sheriff’s deputies at the facet of a cliff off a street close to the circle of relatives house.

Chaffee County District Court docket

Dan Ridenour: She was once new at mountain cycling. So, an twist of fate is indubitably believable. I’d solely ask, “The place’s Suzanne?”

Peter Van Sant: She would were injured, yeah?

Dan Ridenour: She would were injured.

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

Dan Ridenour: No.

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

Dan Ridenour: No.

Investigators consider the scene was once staged and, days later, they found out Suzanne’s helmet more or less a mile away off Freeway 50.

Dan Ridenour [riding in car]: The helmet was once discovered at 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 concept any person threw it out of a window, possibly?

Dan Ridenour: That is the pondering, sure … 

It seemed as although Suzanne can have been kidnapped, and that’s the reason when Barry made a videotaped public plea on social media. In the ones early days, Barry had a idea about what came about 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 came about.


They came about to satisfy on the web site the place Suzanne’s mountain motorbike was once discovered and Tyson secretly videotaped Barry:

BARRY MORPHEW [to Draper]: The primary evening there was once a mountain lion that officials observed that walked by means of the automobile. So, we idea that perhaps she were given attacked by means of a lion.

A mountain lion killed her?

Dan Ridenour: If that came about, there would were indicators of that … There would’ve been blood, there would’ve been a combat … So, that was once an excessively short-lived hypothesis.

Government started to doubt that Suzanne even took a motorcycle trip, particularly after her sun shades and hydration backpack have been present in her automobile.  Investigators additionally discovered her motive force’s license and bank cards in her Vary Rover. However her mobile phone was once lacking.

Peter Van Sant: Did Barry Morphew cooperate with investigators all the way through the process this?

Ashley Franco: He have been interviewed by means of investigators in the course of the process it and he talked to investigators nearly each time.

Ashley Franco, a reporter for the CBS associate in Colorado Springs, KKTV, has learn the police paperwork within the case and attended the initial hearings. She says Barry has time and again advised the similar tale. He got here house round 3 p.m. on Would possibly 9, 2020 and had a pleasing night with Suzanne. The following morning, Mom’s Day, Barry says he drove to a role some 3 hours away.

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

As investigators started attempting to ensure Barry’s alibi, they have been pulled in a brand new path. Suzanne’s undercover agent pen had surfaced with that intimate dialog. Now they wanted to determine the identification of “Jeff,” Suzanne’s lover.  

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


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

Aya Gruber: They find a undercover agent pen.

Peter Van Sant: A undercover agent pen? 

Peter Van Sant: A undercover agent pen.

Aya Gruber is a professor of legislation on the College of Colorado and a former protection legal professional.  She has intently studied all of the public investigative information within the Morphew case; she is aware of it was once no longer simple for investigators to seek out Suzanne’s secret lover: a person named “Jeff.”

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

Jeff Libler
It took FBI brokers six months ahead of they exposed the identification of Suzanne’s secret lover: Jeff Libler, a person Suzanne and Barry knew from their Alexandria, Indiana, highschool.

“Jeff” became 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, abruptly, 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: “Hey Stranger.” … And from that second that they had talked nearly each unmarried day nonstop.

Within the months after Suzanne went lacking, Jeff stored quiet.  He solely started cooperating after he was once positioned by means of investigators, who discovered Jeff had taken steps to cover the just about two-year affair.

Aya Gruber: What he did was once delete all his social media accounts that he had used to keep in touch with Suzanne. … He is were given so much to lose if revelations of this affair pop out.

Jeff advised brokers he solely took the ones steps as a result of he didn’t wish to tarnish Suzanne’s reminiscence and anxious he would possibly lose his circle of relatives and activity. He was once additionally anxious brokers thought to be him a suspect.  

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

Despite the fact that he didn’t come ahead on his personal, Jeff did help brokers once they discovered him. He agreed to offer get right of entry to to his DNA, telephone information and his passwords for the ones deleted accounts. By means of taking a look in the course of the couple’s iCloud accounts and contact information, brokers have been in a position to piece in combination their courting, together with the days they met in particular person.

Ashley Franco: Investigators additionally discovered that Suzanne, on a number of cases, had long past on holiday to catch up with Jeff in many various states, starting from Louisiana to Florida.

Investigators additionally found out they might despatched intimate pictures to one another, talked of changing into husband and spouse, or even discussed leaving the US. 

Ashley Franco: Jeff and Suzanne had mentioned shifting away … shifting to Ecuador at one level …

Peter Van Sant: Should you have been an investigator as a substitute of a legislation professor, what would you wanna learn about this Jeff Libler?

Aya Gruber: The whole lot. I would wanna know the whole lot about what he was once doing, what he was once pondering. … This is any person who arguably had the ultimate conversation … with Suzanne ahead of she went lacking.

The affection affair between Suzanne and Jeff turned into a key a part of the investigation as brokers attempted to determine what came about to her on that Saturday, Would possibly 9, the day ahead of Mom’s Day.

Information display that Suzanne and Jeff messaged every different 59 instances that day, a lot more than same old, government say.

On Would possibly 9, 2020, the day ahead of Mom’s Day, information display Suzanne Morphew and Jeff Libler messaged every different 59 instances main up-to-the-minute investigators consider Barry Morphew murdered his spouse.  At one level, Suzanne messaged her lover this selfie, which investigators dubbed her ultimate “evidence of existence” photograph.

Chaffee County District Court docket

At one level, Suzanne sends Jeff a selfie. Investigators dub it her ultimate “evidence of existence” photograph. Barry was once no longer house, because the fans’ texts warmth up:

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

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

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

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

No person is aware of if Suzanne noticed that textual content or was once preoccupied with Jeff, however she does no longer resolution.

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

There was once nonetheless no reaction from Suzanne and investigators speculate the following couple of moments are when Barry returned house. They realize that Barry’s mobile phone seems to be pinging everywhere in the out of doors of his area. Was once he chasing Suzanne ahead of a last and deadly disagreement? 

Investigators requested Barry to give an explanation for that bizarre telephone job.

Aya Gruber: And he says, “Neatly, lemme consider that. I used to be almost definitely strolling round my area capturing chipmunks.”

You heard proper — it was once possibly the sector’s first chipmunk alibi.  Barry says the chipmunks have been a continuing nuisance at his area and he’d been operating round capturing them that day.

Aya Gruber: After which that confession to capturing chipmunks turns into a big piece of incriminating proof towards him.

There was once no proof of any chipmunk shootings round Barry’s area. A part of his drawback, Aya says, is that Barry granted between 30 and 40 interviews — all with no legal professional — to everybody from a county detective to participants of the FBI.

Peter Van Sant: Would you have got allowed him to do a lot of these interviews?

Aya Gruber: No. Completely no longer.

In the meantime, Jeff Libler was once cleared. He advised brokers he was once in Michigan that weekend and his alibi looked at. When investigators inform Barry of the affair, he denies understanding anything else about it.  

Suzanne and Barry Morphew
Suzanne and Barry Morphew

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

But when Barry knew not anything about Suzanne’s affair, what cause would he need to kill her? One clue is also a deleted textual content that investigators discovered on Barry’s telephone despatched by means of Suzanne simply days ahead of: “I am executed. I may just care much less what you might be as much as and feature been for years. We simply want to determine this out with politeness.”

Dan Ridenour: So, the one factor that is sensible is that Barry Morphew misplaced it when Suzanne in the end mentioned, “I am leaving you.”

Barry knew that his daughters could be away on their tenting shuttle that Saturday afternoon and government say he took good thing about that chance to kill Suzanne and blank up the crime scene.

Peter Van Sant: From 2:47 p.m. till 10:17 p.m., slightly below 8 hours, Barry’s telephone is going into aircraft mode. What do government consider came about all the way through that point?

Ashley Franco: Government say that they consider, when his telephone went into aircraft mode, that he was once casting off conceivable proof.

Not able to trace Barry’s mobile phone, investigators tapped right into a quite new investigative method — virtual automobile forensics — to tug a movement of information out of Barry’s Ford truck. And Barry’s truck advised a special tale than what he was once telling investigators.

Ashley Franco: They have been the usage of Barry’s personal automobile towards him.


Ben LeMere is a professional within the new box of auto forensics. 

Peter Van Sant: Give me a way of the way your generation, out of your corporate, is helping clear up prison 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 is helping … get other folks convicted. It is helped get other folks no longer convicted.

Investigators from Scotland Backyard to the FBI have discovered methods to use Berla’s tool to faucet into the handfuls of computer systems in a automobile.

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

Ben LeMere: Sure, sir.

Instances just like the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew. Investigators created a Berla record, that means they tapped into the knowledge in Barry’s Ford truck to trace its actions after his mobile phone went into aircraft mode. 

Aya Gruber: … a few the items of proof that I believe are very destructive to his case — come from the knowledge within the automobile …

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

Barry Morphew's truck
Government say Barry Morphew advised them he went to mattress round 8 p.m. on Would possibly 9, however his truck’s pc presentations the truck, observed on this proof photograph, was once installed opposite and subsidized up against the home round 9:30 p.m. 

Chaffee County District Court docket

Government consider Barry killed Suzanne that afternoon. He advised brokers he went to mattress round 8 p.m. that evening, however the knowledge pulled from the truck presentations that the truck was once installed opposite and moved some 96 ft nearer to his area round 9:30 p.m.

Ashley Franco: Investigators assume that is when he can have loaded Suzanne’s frame.

To start with, Barry advised police that he set his alarm for 4:30 a.m. on Mom’s Day and left the home by means of 5 a.m. to pressure to a role web site in Broomfield, a the city close to Denver, 150 miles from Salida. However the truck’s computer systems display that any person was once opening and shutting the truck’s doorways round 3:30 a.m.

Investigators consider Barry started riding towards Broomfield a lot previous than he claimed, however there’s a 4-hour window—roughly 4 a.m. to eight a.m.—when no job was once recorded by means of the automobile’s computer systems. 

Aya Gruber: … there are occasions within the automobile — that are not recorded. So, they are able to’t give type of a complete chronological image.

And if Barry concealed Suzanne’s frame all the way through that 4-hour window, the truck’s knowledge does no longer supply solutions.

Peter Van Sant: Why is knowledge lacking infrequently?

Ben Lemere: Neatly, it will get overwritten. You already know, it’s a pc … Log information, they simply ultimate goodbye.

However Barry helped fill in one of the crucial lacking knowledge. He advised brokers he took a left upon leaving his house as a substitute of a proper as a result of, despite the fact that it was once darkish, he remembered seeing some elk.

Ashley Franco: He noticed a herd of elk, and he is a hunter. So, he was once , and he sought after to get an up-close glance.

That admission was once important to brokers as it put him in a space the place a key piece of proof have been recovered.

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

At 8:10 a.m. on Mom’s Day morning, the truck’s computer systems once more start recording knowledge. And by means of then, Barry’s mobile phone had additionally come again to existence. Brokers are in a position to trace Barry’s cellular and truck actions and will see that he first pulled over at a Broomfield bus forestall the place he discarded one thing in a rubbish can. 

Ashley Franco: After which he strikes directly to a resort trash can, a McDonald’s trash can … a dumpster … in a Males’s Wearhouse automobile parking space, after which again to the resort, and dumps stuff in a dumpster there. Investigators consider that all the way through those “trash runs,” he was once casting off proof in other places inside the Denver house.

Barry Morphew surveillance
On Would possibly 10, 2020, the day Suzanne Morphew is reported lacking, investigators found out Barry Morphew threw out trash at more than one places round Broomfield, Colorado, whilst on the town for paintings. This photograph, taken from resort surveillance pictures, presentations Barry throwing out trash in a dumpster. He advised investigators he frequently dropped trash in available packing containers to keep away from paying to have it disposed of at a landfill. Investigators, on the other hand, consider Barry was once casting off proof.

Chaffee County District Court docket

In a surveillance shot of Barry on a kind of trash runs, investigators may just no longer see what he was once throwing away. It’ll have seemed incriminating, however Barry claims it was once simply any other day on the place of business. He advised brokers he was once simply being affordable, no longer prison.

Peter Van Sant: And his declare, smartly, I simply at all times have a lotta junk in — within the automobile. I do not love to pay to have it — disposed at a landfill, I — that is simply what I do.

Ashley Franco: However it is suspicious that you’d cross to 5 other trash spaces to eliminate a number of issues. Why no longer do just it at one?

After trying out the paintings web site, 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 means of then, he’d already spoken to older daughter Mallory who advised him she may just no longer get involved together with her mom.

That is when the Morphew neighbors have been contacted and may just to find no signal of Suzanne.

Dan Ridenour: Barry requested them at the moment if the motorbike was once there, to move take a look at on her … her bicycle isn’t right here.

Barry asks his neighbor to name 911.

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

Ashley Franco: Barry does not head house instantly, and he’s losing some gear off for his coworkers.

Equipment together with a shovel. With Suzanne now formally reported lacking, Barry tells his staff there is a circle of relatives emergency and arranges resort rooms with a kind of staff taking on Barry’s room.

Ashley Franco: When the worker was once interviewed, he advised investigators that … the room that Barry looked at of, it had a robust scent of chlorine or bleach.

Peter Van Sant: Which implies what?

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

Simply after 6 p.m., Barry begins riding again to Salida. At the approach, Barry speaks to sheriff deputies who advise him they have discovered Suzanne’s motorbike and he arrives at that ravine at round 8:40 p.m.  

Ashley Franco: And investigators say that once he arrived there, he was once beautiful emotional for a couple of mins.

By means of Sunday evening, Suzanne’s daughters have been again house however Suzanne is nowhere to be discovered. Barry presented a $100,000 praise for info that was once later doubled to $200,000.

Suzanne Morphew texts
A slew of  textual content messages between Suzanne Morphew and a detailed buddy within the months and days main as much as her disappearance divulge the Morphews’ marriage remained rocky. 

Chaffee County District Court docket

Investigators later found out many texts from Suzanne to a detailed buddy that it sounds as if printed her tormented emotions about Barry:

“He would possibly not discuss of divorce …”

“I believe no peace when he is right here …”

“I would not really feel secure on my own with him …”

Barry turned into the top suspect and investigators assume they know the way he killed Suzanne. 


Whilst investigators searched the Morphew house and the circle of relatives’s vehicles and vans, Barry endured to speak, reputedly to someone with a badge. Weeks and months went by means of and Barry remained on the middle of the investigation. 

Aya Gruber: … police are completely right kind as a statistical subject to take a look at intimate companions … after they suspect {that a} lady would possibly’ve been harmed or murdered.

Peter Van Sant: It is one thing like 8 out of 10 instances, when a partner dies the opposite one’s concerned.

Aya Gruber: Completely.

Every now and then the smallest merchandise will flip an investigation, and, on this case, brokers seized on a transparent plastic cap {that a} forensics group had discovered within the circle of relatives’s dryer. 

Morphew evidence
Investigators discovered this transparent plastic needle cap within the Morphew circle of relatives’s dryer.

Chaffee County District Court docket

Peter Van Sant: How do prosecutors interpret that?

Aya Gruber: The prosecution’s idea is that one day, when Barry got here house at the ninth and snapped, and determined to homicide Suzanne, he used a tranquilizer dart that you’d use on animals …

There was once no running tranquilizer rifle discovered within the Morphew’s house. However Barry advised investigators he was once an skilled tranquilizer dart gun shooter. He knew methods to load darts with paralyzing chemical substances, having used them to illegally sedate deer and take away their antlers to promote.

Morphew garage
The interior of the Morphew circle of relatives’s storage with Barry’s choice of deer heads and a pile of antlers.

Chaffee County District Court docket

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

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

Dan Ridenour [reading]: “And I’m going to let you know precisely what I did … I shoot ’em. They fall asleep, I minimize their horns off … It is completely unlawful … However you might be gonna to find tranq darts round my assets as a result of I have executed that.”

Mavens say it will possibly take between 4 and 20 mins for an animal the scale of a deer to drop after being shot with a tranquilizer dart. Brokers theorized that Barry’s telephone had pinged from quite a lot of places round the home—no longer as a result of he was once capturing chipmunks, however as a result of he was once chasing Suzanne after he shot her. 

Ashley Franco: Investigators discover a doorframe inside the Morphew house that has been damaged. They usually say that there can have been a chase after which a combat.

Andrew Katers, the landlord and CEO of Animal Care and Apparatus Products and services, confirmed us a tranquilizer rifle he’d in most cases use on animals.

Peter Van Sant: And what are you keeping?

Andrew Katers: What I am keeping is a TeleDart fashion 706 rifle … they use this so much in parks right through the rustic.

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

Andrew Katers: It solely fires darts. … It is unimaginable to — get it to do the rest.

Peter Van Sant: May you presently show for me?

Andrew Katers: Positive. [fires rifle]

Peter Van Sant: So, if Suzanne have been struck by means of any such darts … would she have time to run round, attempt to break out?

Andrew Katers: She may just. However I do not believe she would get very some distance.

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

Andrew Katers: Evidently.

Bolstering the idea that Barry and Suzanne had a disagreement the day she disappeared have been obvious scratches observed on Barry’s left arm. Brokers took the circumstantial proof they accrued — Barry’s it sounds as if suspicious habits, his contradictory statements, the puzzling knowledge from his truck, Suzanne’s worrying texts and the ones 5 trash runs — and taken all of it to the district legal professional.

On just about the anniversary of Suzanne’s disappearance, Barry is arrested in Would possibly 2021.

NEWS REPORT: This night, the husband of Suzanne Morphew is in the back of bars accused of killing her. … The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Place of work says that Barry Morphew was once arrested this morning. 

Suzanne’s frame hasn’t ever been discovered and the prosecutors think she’s lifeless. In spite of the loss of a frame, Barry was once charged with first-degree homicide, tampering with bodily proof, and numerous different allegations. He was once held with out bail and in the end pleaded no longer responsible.

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

“It had turn out to be transparent that Barry may just no longer keep an eye on Suzanne’s insistence on leaving him and he resorted to one thing he has executed his whole existence — hunt and keep an eye on Suzanne like he had hunted and regulated animals.”

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

Melinda Moorman: There aren’t any winners on this tale. There are two households who’re struggling deeply.

Barry in the long run employed high-profile legal professionals from Denver, and, in the summertime of 2021, Pass judgement on Patrick Murphy heard the prosecution’s proof in open court docket.

Ashley Franco: He determined to carry a initial listening to to peer if this example had sufficient proof to visit trial.

The protection attempted mightily to blunt the state’s case, countering that the transparent, plastic cap discovered within the dryer way not anything as a result of nobody may just say how lengthy it have been there. Moreover, Suzanne’s DNA was once discovered at the cap, no longer Barry’s. And as for that chlorine scent in Barry’s resort room …

Aya Gruber: One of the crucial managers from the Vacation Inn had in fact communicated to brokers that this scent of chlorine existed ahead of Barry Morphew was once there … as a result of that room’s at once above an indoor pool.

And there was once yet one more an important factor the prosecution needed to maintain — person who its personal forensic group exposed. DNA proof made public for the primary time now threatened to damage the case towards Barry.

Aya Gruber: This DNA discovery is so important. The brokers swab the interior of Suzanne Morphew’s automobile and so they discovered male DNA at the glove field, and it wasn’t Barry Morphew’s DNA. He was once eradicated. 

The DNA additionally didn’t fit Suzanne’s lover Jeff Libler. However it did in part fit the DNA of an unknown male who had attacked different girls and it raised a worrying query: had Suzanne fallen into the fingers of a sexual predator? 


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

Ashley Franco: The pass judgement on named off 3 other eventualities, pronouncing, “Suzanne Morphew left willingly, Barry Morphew can have killed his spouse, or any person else kidnapped Suzanne and killed her.”

He mentioned it was once “not likely” Suzanne had run off on her personal, despite the fact that she and lover Jeff Libler had mentioned shifting to Ecuador.  

Ashley Franco: The pass judgement on says that on account of the proof that is … been introduced about how loving Suzanne was once towards her daughters and towards her circle of relatives … that she may just by no means do this.”

Suzanne Morphew's car
Investigators found out mysterious male DNA on this Vary Rover belonging to Suzanne Morphew. In October 2020, DNA trying out printed a minimum of a partial fit to an unnamed guy hooked up to a few unsolved sexual attack circumstances in Tempe, Phoenix and Chicago. Had Suzanne fallen into the fingers of a sexual predator?

Chaffee County District Court docket

However the abduction idea may just no longer be so simply brushed aside — particularly after that mysterious DNA was once present in Suzanne’s Vary Rover. Investigators discovered that DNA a minimum of in part matched the profile of an unnamed guy hooked up to a few unsolved sexual attack circumstances in Tempe, Phoenix and Chicago.

Peter Van Sant: So how can that DNA finally end up in her automobile?

Aya Gruber: Neatly, that DNA can finally end up in her automobile if she was once the sufferer, as an example, of a serial killer … or if the individual was once employed or opportunistic … There is also probably an blameless rationalization that one day, you understand, the individual got here involved with the automobile randomly as a mechanic … however it is rather, very curious.

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

Ashley Franco: Barry Morphew completely may just say that. And that’s the reason what his protection is banking on on this case.

In frank language, Pass judgement on Murphy gave his opinion of the state’s proof: “I to find that the evidence isn’t obtrusive neither is the presumption nice that Mr. Morphew dedicated first-degree homicide.”

In spite of that, the pass judgement on dominated there was once possible motive to visit trial.

Aya Gruber: However this pass judgement on was once very cautious to mention, “Glance, I am discovering possible motive right here, however it is just as a result of I’m taking a look at all of the proof within the gentle maximum favorable to the prosecution.”

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

Ashley Franco: The pass judgement on units $500,000 cash-only bond.

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

Ashley Franco: Barry Morphew is dressed in an ankle observe for them to trace him, to make certain that he’s staying in Chaffee County.

Barry Morphew and daughters
Barry Morphew pleaded no longer responsible to all fees and on September 20, 2021, he was once launched from prison on bond together with his daughters by means of his facet. They steadfastly reinforce their father, attending maximum of his court docket hearings like this one in December 2021.


A couple of days afterward September 20, 2021, Barry Morphew and daughters Mallory and Macy are all smiles as they go away the prison. They stand firmly in the back of their dad. Barry had talked to rankings of investigators since his spouse’s disappearance however, via his legal professionals, he declined to be interviewed or to make a observation to “48 Hours,” bringing up court docket laws and orders.  

In October 2021, Barry Morphew’s civil legal professionals introduced a bold transfer. They intend to record a civil lawsuit claiming that prosecutors and investigators deliberately withheld “exculpatory proof” that can have pointed to Barry’s innocence.

Ashley Franco: In keeping with this letter of intent to sue, it says that prosecutors introduced protection legal professionals with proof … that they were given after the initial listening to pronouncing that they … now know the one that this DNA fits.

Not anything else about this unnamed particular person or his whereabouts at the day Suzanne went lacking has been launched publicly

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

Dan Ridenour: Persons are in search of that smoking gun … individuals are very involved that when this is going to a jury, that they will no longer be capable to to find him responsible.

Aya Gruber: This example is truly in regards to the limits that the prison prison device has to offer us closure … When any person is going lacking who is liked and had kids … you need the dangerous man to be held responsible however in some circumstances they’re simply mysteries.

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

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

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

Suzanne Morphew/Fb

And Melinda needs her nieces to grasp something about their mom.

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

Pass judgement on Patrick Murphy disqualified himself in keeping with a possible battle of passion involving a conceivable witness. A brand new pass judgement on has been appointed.

Barry Morphew’s homicide trial is scheduled for Would possibly 2022.

The Morphew protection group has asked a metamorphosis of venue.

Produced by means of Paul L. a. Rosa. Elena DiFiore is the sector manufacturer. Stephen A. McCain is the improvement manufacturer. Atticus Brady, Michael Baluzy and George Baluzy are the editors. Peter Schweitzer is the senior manufacturer. Nancy Kramer is the chief tale editor. Judy Tygard is the chief manufacturer.

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