Nearly a year after Suzanne Morphew disappeared without a trace while out on a bike ride last Mother’s Day, the 49-year-old’s husband—who once pleaded for her safe return—has been arrested and charged with murder.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Daily Beast that Barry Morphew, 53, is currently in custody after being arrested Wednesday morning, just days shy of the one-year anniversary of his wife’s disappearance on May 10, 2020, in Maysville, Colorado. He has been charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant.
“Today is a good day for Suzanne. Today is all about Suzanne, and it’s about her family, and it’s about all the individuals that knew her, loved her, and cared about her,” 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley said during a Wednesday news conference announcing Morphew’s arrest.
While authorities said Wednesday that the arrest “marks a major milestone” in a case that confounded investigators for months and garnered national attention—investigators are still searching for the mother-of-two. For that reason, they’re keeping Morphew’s arrest warrant under seal.
However, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said Wednesday “we believe that she’s not alive.”
“My first reaction is relief,” Melinda Moorman, Suzanne Morphew’s sister, told Fox21 on Wednesday. “And grateful. I’m just so grateful.”
“Today, justice is beginning for my sister. It’s been a journey that no one ever imagines that they’ll take,” she added, noting that she still loves her brother-in-law “though he’s done a terrible thing.”
The investigation into the mother-of-two’s disappearance began on May 10, after one of her neighbors reported her missing when she didn’t return home from a bike ride. For several days, federal and local authorities conducted an extensive search over a 2.5-mile area—eventually finding her bike but not Morphew. Her body has still not been found.
Stanley said Wednesday that while authorities are not revealing a cause of death, they have information about “a certain scenario” that they believe occurred last May.
Barry Morphew, who was reportedly out of town on the day his wife went missing, released a video pleading for his wife’s safe return on May 17 and launched a social-media campaign to aid in the investigation. He even offered a $200,000 reward for information about her disappearance.
“Oh Suzanne, if anyone is out there that can hear this, that has you, please, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back. We love you. We miss you. The girls need you. No questions asked. However much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back. Honey, I love you. I want you back so bad,” he said.
Despite Morphew’s public appeal, questions began to surface about his possible role in his wife’s murder—including reports that he had scrubbed his Denver hotel room clean just prior to Suzanne’s disappearance. Morphew denied the claims.
In one rare August interview with Fox21, Morphew insisted that unfair media coverage of his wife’s case made him out to be a villain. “People don’t know the truth, so they’re gonna think what they’re gonna think,” he said. Then, he began to offer different theories about what happened to his wife, suggesting she may have been the victim of an animal attack or had a run-in with another person.
During the interview, Morphew also slammed the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, saying they had “screwed this whole [investigation] up from the beginning and now they are trying to cover it up and blame it on me.”
On Wednesday, Spezze said that over the last year, 135 search warrants were executed, more than 400 individuals were interviewed, and officers investigated at least 1,400 tips.
Morphew, who immediately asked for a lawyer after being arrested, is expected in court on Thursday at 10 a.m.