Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew’s remains found three-and-a-half years after she vanished on bike ride, with murder charges against husband Barry later dropped
Mother-of-two Suzanne Morphew, 49, was reported missing from her home in Chaffee County on May 10, 2020 – and her remains were never found – until now
The body was found Sept 22, 50 miles from her bike in Moffat, Saguache County, cops said it was in the course of probing a completely separate case
Morphew’s husband, Barry, was arrested for murder in 2021, spending five months in jail, but charges were dropped last year
He has always maintained his innocence and filed a wrongful arrest suit against authorities last year
Suzanne Morphew vanished without a trace on May 10, 2020 after setting off from her home on a Mother’s Day bike ride. Her body has finally been found, over three years later, in Moffat, Saguache County, while investigators were probing a completely separate case
The remains of missing mother Suzanne Morphew was found Friday, three and a half years after she vanished, after going on a bicycle ride on Mother’s Day, near her family’s property in Colorado.
Mother-of-two Morphew, 49, was reported missing from her home in Chaffee County on May 10, 2020, her bike gone from the garage.
Her bike was found later that day, discarded down a ravine, but she was not found.
Investigators have revealed they found her body 50 miles from her bike, in Moffat, Saguache County, while they were probing a completely separate case.
No arrests have been made since the remains were located on September 22, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation confirmed on Wednesday. Her identity was confirmed on September 27.
Although her body had not been recovered at the time, her husband Barry Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder in May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared.
Last year, prosecutors dropped all charges against Morphew after a judge sanctioned the district attorney’s office for discovery violations.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, despite objections from the defense, which means it could still be re-filed should new evidence come to light.
Suzanne and her husband Barry Morphew had two daughters together. She vanished on Mother’s Day – on May 10, 2020. Her body was not found until now
John Spezze, Chaffee County sheriff, said on Wednesday that his office has ‘never stopped investigations and will continue to follow all leads in pursuit of justice for Suzanne,’ adding that ‘Although locating Suzanne’s remains is a critical component of this investigation, and for her family, we are left with many more questions than answers, and it would be a disservice to conduct a news conference at this time.’
Suzanne Morphew was reported missing after going out for a ride on May 10, 2020, her bike was found later that day, discarded down a ravine.
Five days later, on May 15, her bike helmet was discovered on the side of a highway less than half a mile from where her bike was found, a short distance from the family’s home. No clothing, blood, or evidence of a struggle was found near the bike or helmet.
Her sunglasses and hydration backpack had been found inside her car, leading investigators to speculate that perhaps Suzanne never really went for a bike ride on the morning she vanished, and instead staged a scene.
However, on Friday, September 22, Suzanne’s body was found 50 miles from her bike.
After Barry was charged with murder and the case against him progressed, authorities revealed intimate details about their married life, including the discovery that Suzanne had been having an affair with someone she met in high school, Jeff Libler, while Barry was signed up to online affair websites.
When the case was still active, it was revealed that Suzanne, Barry and Libler appeared in the local paper together in 1985.
When asked what the hardest part of the last three years has been, her daughters simply said: ‘Just not having mom’
Barry Morphew with his daughters Mallory [right], and Macy [left], after murder charges against him in the death of Suzanne were dropped)
Both men attended the same high school as Suzanne, with Barry two grades ahead of his wife and Libler at the Alexandria-Monroe High School in Alexandria, Indiana.
At a preliminary hearing in 2021, law enforcement officials presented to the court Suzanne’s text message exchanges with her lover, in which she told him she had a fine night and was looking at houses for sale.
When her husband came home from work that day, he found Suzanne sunbathing in the yard. She was sending pictures of herself to Libler via LinkedIn, which the couple had been using to communicate behind her husband’s back.
Alexandria-Monroe High School 1987 yearbook reveals Suzanne Morphew was classmates with Jeff Libler – the same man she is reported to have had a two-year affair with before she vanished on Mother’s Day 2020
Suzanne and Jeff were in the same grade, while her husband Barry Morphew was two years ahead
The court was then shown a photo of Suzanne that she had sent to Libler that day, which depicted her laying on her front in a bikini and smiling at her $1.3million home.
Barry would later tell investigators his wife looked ‘drunk’ in that photo, which officials said was Suzanne’s last proof of life.
The following day, Libler wished Suzanne Happy Mother’s Day and said he knew it would be a hard day for her because she missed her mother. Suzanne never replied.
His last known text to Suzanne was sent on May 11, 2020, in which he offered her well wishes for her cancer treatment. That message also went unanswered.
Suzanne had survived two battles with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, decades apart.
Morphew was charged with his wife’s murder in 2021 – the charges were later dropped
Barry Morphew was seen with his two daughters on April 19 2022, after murder charges against him were dropped
The hearing in 2021 also revealed that just days prior, Suzanne texted her husband and apparently signaled to him her intention to end their rocky marriage, which was marked by accusations of infidelity and abuse.
‘I’m done,’ Suzanne wrote to Barry on May 6. ‘I couldn’t care less what you’re up to and have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.’
It has been revealed that Suzanne suspected her husband of being unfaithful to her and even purchased a spy pen to snoop on him.
Barry Morphew, [right], has said he was away on a training course for his job as a volunteer firefighter in Denver, Colorado, when Suzanne [left], vanished in early May 2020. However, police initially claimed that he killed her with a dart gun filled with animal tranquilizer’
Barry insisted to his wife that he was not cheating on her, writing in one text: ‘I promise you, you are wrong about all the crazy thoughts about me. Why would I want another, only a fool would stray from an angel like you.’
Police said the pair had a tumultuous marriage, with the suggestion being that he might have killed her out of jealousy or to stop her from filing for a divorce.
But last year, the charges were suddenly dropped without prejudice by Assistant District Attorney Linda Stanley.
In May this year, Barry Morphew and his two daughters with Suzanne spoke to ABC News’ Good Morning America.
They said Suzanne had made ‘bad decisions’ because she was struggling with drugs and chemotherapy while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Barry Morphew sits with his daughters Mallory (right) and Macy (left) as they break their silence following the disappearance of their mom – and murder charges being dropped against the dad
Barry Morphew, 55, the husband of Suzanne Morphew [right] has since filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking $15M claiming he was wrongfully charged with Colorado mom’s disappearance and murder
‘We had a wonderful life, a wonderful marriage,’ said Barry.
‘She was just so loving and giving, and such a good mother.
‘I know that she was going through chemotherapy for the last couple years before her disappearance.
‘I know she was going through some hard things and made some bad decisions. She was really having trouble with the chemotherapy and the drugs.’
Barry said that his heart was ‘broken’ when he found out his wife was having an affair with a man who she went to high school with.
Holding back his tears, he told ABC News: ‘My heart was broken. I didn’t believe it.’
When asked how the ordeal has left them, her daughters Mallory and Macy told ABC: ‘Very very sad. Very confused. So traumatic. Literally our worst nightmare.’
The family huddled together and hugged during their interview with ABC. As they were asked if they ever questioned if their dad was not innocent, Mallory said: ‘I’ve never had a shred of doubt.’ Macy added: ‘Not one’
Asked if he had anything to do with the disappearance of his wife, Barry said: ‘Absolutely not. It’s very hurtful to lose your reputation and your integrity.’
Standing with their father, the women were asked if they ever questioned if their father’s innocence.
Mallory responded: ‘I’ve never had a shred of doubt.’
Macy added: ‘Not one.’
The family huddled together and hugged amid their tears during the interview.
Slamming the prosecutors, who believed that Barry was involved with his wife’s disappearance, he reiterated: ‘They’re wrong. They’ve got tunnel vision.
‘They looked at one person and they’ve got too much pride to say they’re wrong and look somewhere else.’
Barry said that his heart was ‘broken’ when he found out his wife was having an affair – and admitted that she made some mistakes while she was having cancer treatment
When asked what the hardest part has been, Macy told ABC News: ‘Just not having mom.
‘It’s really difficult especially because of the lack of closure we have.’
Barry Morphew has filed a $15million federal civil rights lawsuit against more than 20 prosecutors and law enforcement officials for ‘irreparably’ tarnishing his ‘name and reputation’ with a ‘conspiracy to violate his state and federal constitutional rights.’
The 185-page complaint claims that the authorities conspired to wrongly arrest Morphew, that they fabricated evidence, concealed exculpatory evidence and conducted a reckless investigation, all which led to Morphew being wrongly prosecuted.
Investigators carried out excavations on the family’s property searching for Suzanne’s remains. Morphew in his lawsuit alleging wrongful arrest, after cops fabricated evidence, concealed exculpatory evidence and conducted a reckless investigation lead to being wrongly prosecuted
FBI and CBI officials at the scene in 2020. Morphew’s lawsuit claims investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence of DNA from an alleged sex offender found in Suzanne’s property
‘As result of the Defendant’s conduct Barry was charged, arrested, and prosecuted, and his property seized, for a crime he did not commit,’ the lawsuit says.
‘As result of the Defendants’ conduct Barry spent five months in jail, approximately 6 more months wearing a GPS ankle monitor with severe restrictions on his movement, and almost a year defending against the criminal charges. To this date, Barry’s property remains in the CCSD’s possession.’
The lawsuit claims that Morphew’s ‘name and reputation has been irreparably tarnished in Colorado and all around the country.’
Those named in the lawsuit including Chaffee County, the sheriff’s office and board of commissioners, 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley and her staff, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation and FBI agents.
Suzanne was 49 years old when she vanished, sparking a huge search and rescue effort.
At the time, Barry Morphew issued a series of tearful pleas for her return but soon became embroiled in the police investigation, with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials had descended on the home just three days after she went missing.
He had claimed to be on a landscaping job in Broomfield, Colorado, when his wife vanished in September 2020.
However, co-workers suspicious of his movements, said he had left his Holiday Inn hotel room stinking of bleach.
Barry Morphew’s defense team previously filed a lawsuit against 26 individuals in the investigation and prosecution of the case, alleging they intentionally with held evidence found at the crime scene
He also left a trash can filled with shredded correspondence that was later turned over to the CBI.
Morphew began the legal process of having Suzanne’s assets and their joint property transferred to him shortly after she vanished.
In November 2020, he cast a vote for Donald Trump in her name – claiming she would have done it anyway.
Investigators later said Morphew had told them he did it ‘just because I wanted to vote for Trump to win. I just thought, ‘Give him another vote.’
‘I figured all these other guys were cheating. I figured she (Suzanne) was going to vote for Trump anyway.’
In May 2021, a year after Suzanne disappeared, Morphew was arrested and charged with her murder – despite police not having found a body.
A hearing in September 2020 shredded Morphew’s description of his marriage to Suzanne as being a happy and loving one, with investigators revealing she had been having a long-running affair with married dad-of-six Jeff Libler.
Morphew is accused of murdering his wife, Suzanne, right, who went missing on Mother’s Day in 2020. Her body has just been found over three years later
Libler, who has never spoken about Suzanne, was due to testify at Morphew’s trial and received Suzanne’s final photo, a bikini selfie taken on May 9, 2020 in the garden of her $1.3m home.
The court also heard how spent tranquilizer cartridges were found inside the laundry room at the family’s home, that Morphew had scratches on his arms in the days after Suzanne’s disappearance and that she had complained of his controlling behavior to her family.
A series of text messages revealed how anguished Suzanne had discussed ending her marriage in conversations with friends and called Morphew ‘a Jekyll and Hyde character’.
His defense attorneys during the hearing pointed to unknown male DNA discovered in the glove box of her car and suggesting a link to a sex offender arrested in Arizona.
Morphew’s case was then scheduled for a full trial beginning May 1 but it was dramatically halted a week before it was due to start when prosecutors announced they were tossing the case.
The move came after the judge due to preside over the trial banned the prosecution from using a series of witnesses on the grounds of discovery violations.
Police at the time police said they were close to finding Suzanne’s remains and were waiting for the snow to melt.