Barry Morphew has been arrested on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant
Barry Morphew was photographed with a mystery woman just two months before he was arrested and charged with missing wife Suzanne’s murder, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Exclusive photos taken in late February show the father-of-two enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Salida with the younger redhead before dropping her off at a nearby hotel.
The pair were seen again two days later, having an animated conversation in his distinctive white truck outside the Salida Comfort Inn.
Barry, 52, is currently in the Chaffee County Jail and has been slapped with one count of first-degree murder, one of tampering with evidence and one of attempting to influence a public official.
Suzanne, 49, vanished without a trace on May 10 last year after reportedly setting off on a solo bike ride from the home she shared with Barry near Salida.
Barry, who works as a landscaping boss, has spent the last year insisting that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance while obtaining guardianship of her to enable him to sell several of their joint properties.
One, sold in March, was the $1.5million family home where Suzanne was last seen before vanishing on May 10.
Barry Morphew was photographed with a mystery woman just two months before he was arrested and charged with missing wife Suzanne’s murder, DailyMail.com can reveal
Exclusive photos taken in late February show the father-of-two enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Salida with the younger redhead before dropping her off at a nearby hotel
The identify of the mystery woman with Barry is unknown
Barry’s distinctive white drunk was seen sitting outside of a Mexican restaurant as he and a mystery woman grabbed food
The pair were seen again two days later, having an animated conversation in his distinctive white truck outside the Salida Comfort Inn
The husband of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew has been charged with her murder almost one year after she vanished without trace on Mother’s Day. Barry and Suzanne together
The other was a plot of land close to Poncha Springs where cadaver dogs picked up the scent of human remains during a search organized by Suzanne’s brother Andy Moorman in September.
DailyMail.com revealed that the land – which Barry sold in February – was then dug up by FBI search teams, although no body was found.
Barry has now moved into a modest condo in Poncha Springs.
Photos taken by DailyMail.com in February show he has continued to work on his landscaping business and was pictured driving an excavator on a site behind his new home the same month.
On Wednesday, Barry was arrested on three separate charges and taken into custody. He will make his first court appearance on Thursday morning.
His arrest comes despite the fact that investigators have not found Suzanne’s body.
In a press conference held Wednesday evening, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze and District Attorney Linda Stanley defended their investigation from criticism that it has taken almost 12 months for detectives to make an arrest, and insisted that their case was strong.
The pair admitted that they do not know Suzanne’s cause of death, but implied that they have knowledge of an ‘incident’ that led to her killing.
Barry’s arrested affidavit remains sealed amid the ongoing investigation, and he has retained legal counsel ahead of his court appearance.
Barry has long insisted he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance but Suzanne’s brother has said he believes him responsible
Barry and Suzanne pictured together with their daughters Mallory and Macy in a social media snap taken several years ago
Last month, Barry sold off the $1.5million family home he shared with Suzanne (pictured). The home was twice searched by investigators, and was reportedly the last place Suzanne had been before she set off on a bike ride on May 10 last year
Court documents posted online show that all three charges are for offenses dated May 10 2020, the day Suzanne disappeared. This indicates police believe she was murdered that day.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Barry faces up to life in prison.
Suzanne’s sister Melinda Moorman told FOX 21 the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office had told the family about Barry’s arrest that morning.
Moorman said her first reaction was ‘relief’ to finally have answers over her sister’s disappearance as she said the family was ‘so grateful’ for the ‘tireless’ work of investigators on the case.
‘Today, justice is beginning for my sister. It’s been a journey that no one ever imagines that they’ll take,’ she said.
‘I want the world to know that my sister was the darling of our family. She was the rose among thorns. That’s what I used to call her.’
She added that she still loves her brother-in-law in a message to Suzanne’s daughters, as she said she wanted to tell them ‘I’m here for you.’
‘I love your dad even though he’s done a terrible thing,’ she said.
Suzanne, 49, disappeared on May 10 last year after reportedly setting off on a bike ride from the home she shared with Barry in Salida, Chaffee County
Barry and Suzanne are pictured on their wedding day in 1994. The couple shared two children together
Suzanne was reported missing on May 10, 2020 by neighbor Jeanne Ritter, 70, after vanishing while riding her bike close to her Salida home.
Her bike was found the same day by a bridge close to the luxury home and she had not been heard from since May 8.
Two days later, a personal item – thought to be her bike helmet – was found, while police divers were photographed searching a local dam by DailyMail.com.
Barry offered a $100,000 reward for her safe return and filmed an emotional video pleading for her to come home.
But less than three days after Suzanne vanished, attention turned to the family home – with CBI investigators seen carrying evidence bags into the property in photos taken by DailyMail.com.
Barry told police he had spent the night before her disappearance on a firefighter training course in Denver, before switching stories to claim he had been on a work job in Broomfield.
Barry has long maintained his innocence, issuing a bizarre video online in the days after she went missing pleading with her to come home and saying: ‘Honey, I love you and I want you back so bad’ (above)
A map shows the distance between Morphew’s home and where a personal item belonging to the missing mom was discovered
Barry was seen barbecuing at his home in Salida in July – just two months after his wife went missing
Photos taken by DailyMail.com in February show Barry continued to work on his landscaping business and was pictured driving an excavator on a site behind his new home the same month
The 52-year-old has claimed to have given 30 hours of interviews to police and accused them of botching the initial investigation
Barry has repeatedly tried to convince the public, authorities and Suzanne’s family that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.
He has also thrown out several theories as to her whereabouts including that an animal attacked her while she was on a bike ride, that she had gotten into an accident on the road or – later – that she had been abducted by an unknown assailant.
The 52-year-old has also taken aim at cops for ‘screwing up’ the investigation and shared private photos and love notes between the couple in an effort to prove his innocence.
The 52-year-old has claimed to have given 30 hours of interviews to police and accused them of botching the initial investigation.
Despite Morphew’s insistence that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance, her family, who live in Indiana, have long been skeptical.
Her brother Andy Moorman, 58, has repeatedly spoken about his suspicions and in September, called for Morphew to take a lie detector test.
Suzanne’s brother Andy Moorman, 58, has repeatedly spoken about his suspicions and in September, called for Morphew to take a lie detector test
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, he said: ‘I think he should have done a lie detector and voice analysis. I know that’s not admissible in court but it kind of clears you.
‘It says, look, I’m here and I’ll tell you everything you need to know. I’ll take several of them if you need me to. And that didn’t happen. That kind of made me suspicious as well.’
He also launched a crowd-funded search for Suzanne that included cadaver dogs and lasted five days but failed to find his sister.
Last September, DailyMail.com revealed Morphew had spent the night before Suzanne’s disappearance in a Holiday Inn in Broomfield, Colorado, and had left his room stinking of chlorine and littered with mail.
Contractor Jeff Puckett, 49, of Salida, Colorado, said he was ordered to Denver by Morphew on the day Suzanne vanished but didn’t see him because he had already left ‘due to a family emergency’.
Puckett said: ‘I got there Sunday night and the room smelled like chlorine real bad.
‘It was his room and he’d taken a shower – his towels were all over the floor.’
A manager at the $92-a-night property confirmed to DailyMail.com that they do not use chlorine to clean guest rooms and have handed security footage from the weekend of May 9 to police.
Contractor Jeff Puckett, 49, of Salida, Colorado, said he was ordered to Denver by Morphew on the day Suzanne vanished but didn’t see him because he had already left ‘due to a family emergency’
Puckett also said he discovered a pile of mail in the room – including a letter about property insurance – and later turned it over to the FBI.
He said: ‘I found some mail in the hotel room. His mail was in there and I gave it to the FBI. I thought it was kind of odd to have it there.
‘Some of it was from an insurance company, like insuring your property, that kind of thing.’
Morphew later obtained guardianship of Suzanne in order to sell a property in their native Indiana.
Despite being told the work was urgent, Puckett told DailyMail.com that he arrived to find no tools and was left to wait around the hotel for two days – never actually visiting the job site.
He said he left Denver for Salida on the Tuesday after Suzanne disappeared and has not heard from Morphew since, although he was paid.
Puckett said the experience left him suspicious. ‘It’s kind of weird,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘My first thought was that this must be like an alibi. That’s what it felt like.’
He added: ‘It’s one of two things: either he did it or the aliens got her. I mean, with nine out of 10 couples, the spouse did it. I feel bad for her – I hope they find her alive but it’s been a long time.’