Unsolved murder of Suzanne Morphew: Bizarre case examined by 48 Hours on ID

Suzanne Morphew selfie
The killing of Suzanne Morphew remains unsolved. Pic credit: Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office

48 Hours on ID is examining the unsolved murder of Suzanne Morphew, who disappeared near her home in Chaffee County, Colorado, on Mother’s Day 2020 and was never seen alive again.

This complex case saw Suzanne’s husband of 25 years, Barry Morphew, arrested for her murder in May 2021, only for the charges to be dropped in April 2022.

On May 10, 2020, Barry Morphew went to a job in Broomfield, Colorado, near Denver, and the couple’s two daughters were away on a trip. Suzanne supposedly went for a mountain bike ride but never came home.

The 49-year-old was later reported missing by Barry after she failed to turn up. Her bike was found in a ravine near her home. There was no sign of a struggle, blood, clothing, or any evidence indicating what had happened. Suzanne’s bike helmet was found about a mile away.

The police speculated that maybe Suzanne hadn’t gone for a ride at all, and her bike had been placed there to throw the cops off the scent.

A search of Suzanne’s closet revealed a spy pen, a covert device used to record voices. The cops learned that Suzanne had purchased the pen to catch her husband having an affair. However, the spy equipment actually proved she was having an affair.

The man in question was married with children and living in Michigan. On hearing of Suzanne’s disappearance, he allegedly tried to hide the affair. The cops questioned him but concluded he was not involved in her murder.

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The police began to suspect that Suzanne and Barry’s relationship was in serious trouble. A deleted text message from Suzanne to her husband appeared to show she wanted a separation. The cops also said there were 59 messages between Suzanne and her lover the day before she was murdered.

Chaffee County cops charged Barry Morphew with killing Suzanne Morphew

The police concluded that Barry killed his wife at their house on May 9 and staged it to look like she was attacked riding her bike a day later. The investigators pointed to a troubled marriage, damage in the house, and a needle cap thought to be from a tranquilizer dart found in Barry’s laundry as their evidence.

The police also said cellphone records showed Barry’s phone pinging all around the house, which they claimed was probably caused by him chasing Suzanne around the house. Barry said he was chasing a chipmunk.

Barry Morphew was charged with presumed first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

However, that was not the end of the case. Shortly before Barry’s trial was set to begin, the District Attorney asked for the charges to be dropped. They said they needed more evidence and hoped to find Suzanne’s remains and have not ruled out pressing charges in the future.

Suzanne Morphew remains found in Saguache County

In September 2022, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced that Suzanne’s remains had finally been discovered. The body was located during an unrelated search in Saguache County, to the south of Chaffee County.

The cops are currently withholding any more information about the find while they continue to investigate.

At the time, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said, “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.

In the meantime, the Morphew family has stood by Barry, insisting he is innocent. They have also expressed frustration with the investigation.

48 Hours on ID airs Thursday at 11/10c on Investigation Discovery.

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