Husband Barry Morphew Now Facing Murder Charges, No Body Found
Nearly a year after Suzanne Morphew was reported missing, her husband Barry Morphew is facing murder charges.
JIM BENEMANN: Suzanne Morphew vanished 360 days ago. Good evening, I’m Jim Benemann.
KAREN LEIGH: And I’m Karen Leigh. Thanks for being with us tonight. Right now, Susan’s husband sits in jail, accused of her murder. Barry Morphew has retained innocence to CBS 4 since his wife disappeared last Mother’s Day. He begged in this public video to help him find Suzanne and offered a $100,000 reward. She left their house in Salida to go on a bike ride and never returned. Her body has not been found. CBS 4’s Jamie Leary joins us live in Chaffee County right now with the charges against Barry.
JAMIE LEARY: Throughout my conversations with Barry Morphew, he has maintained his innocence, even shed tears, telling me he has searched high and low for his wife and he just wants her home. Now, he is the one facing charges for her murder, and the Sheriff’s Office says they’re searching for no one else. He’s in custody just next door to the courthouse here at the Chaffee County Jail.
JOHN SPEZZE: We are now saying that at 09:15 hours this morning, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Suzanne Morphew’s husband Barry Morphew.
JAMIE LEARY: A passerby captured that moment on a cell phone just outside of an Anytime Fitness. You can see Morphew’s white truck pulled over. The sheriff’s office said he was taken into custody without incident.
BRANDY COOK: Very happy. I was very happy. It was like closing a chapter and maybe moving on to the next level or whatever.
JAMIE LEARY: Dozens of community members gathered outside the courthouse Wednesday afternoon for a press briefing. Many expressed relief at the news. But for those who knew her, there’s still a piece missing.
TISHA LEEWAY: Super excited, but not excited enough yet until we find her.
LINDA STANLEY: Suzanne, her body has not been found.
JAMIE LEARY: At this point Suzanne Morphew is presumed dead and authorities continue to search for her body. When asked about a potential cause of death, there was little they could share.
LINDA STANLEY: So at this time, without the body, we wouldn’t be able to say that publicly. We do have information that led us to this point today, and how we think a certain scenario had occurred. As far as I am concerned, today is all about Suzanne. And it’s about her family. And it’s about all the individuals that knew her and loved her and cared about her. That’s what this day is about, and it’s a good day.
JAMIE LEARY: The charges that Barry Morphew was facing include murder after deliberation, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public official. He has an initial appearance scheduled here at the Chaffee County Courthouse tomorrow at 10:30. And of course, we’ll continue to follow this story. Live in Salida, Jamie Leary, CBS 4 mountain newsroom.