Colorado man suspected in wife’s presumed death due in court


This photo provided by Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office shows Barry Morphew. Morphew was arrested in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, as the result of an ongoing investigation that has so far involved over 135 searches across Colorado and the interviews of over 400 people in multiple states, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man arrested on a murder charge in the presumed death of his wife who disappeared last Mother’s Day was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday.

Barry Morphew, 53, was taken into custody without incident Wednesday near his home in Poncha Springs, a small community in southern Colorado near some of the state’s tallest mountains. Authorities say the arrest was the result of an extensive and ongoing investigation that has so far failed to find Suzanne Morphew’s body. However, after conducting over 135 searches across Colorado and interviewing 400 people in multiple states, investigators believe the mother of two daughters is dead, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said.

A week after she went missing on May 10, 2020, Barry Morphew posted a video on Facebook pleading for her safe return.

“No questions asked, however much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back,” he said.

Barry Morphew is set to be advised by a judge in the nearby historic community of Salida, about 140 miles (229 kilometers) southwest of Denver, of the charges he was arrested on: first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public official. He was being held at a jail near the courthouse in the small city along the Arkansas River.

The arrest affidavit outlining the evidence leading investigators to believe Morphew is responsible for his wife’s death has been sealed, District Attorney Linda Stanley said. When investigators began asking questions after his arrest, Morphew asked for a lawyer and the questioning stopped, she said.

One of two state public defenders who have notified the court that they are representing Morphew, Daniel Zettler, said he could not comment on the case under office policy.

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