Suzanne Morphew (True Crime)

Date:
May 10, 2020 (Sunday)

Location:
Maysville, Colorado, United States

Situation:
Missing

Suzanne Morphew

Nickname: Unknown
Alternative Name: Suzanne Moorman

Disappearance

Missing from: 19057 Puma Path, Salida, CO, USA
Date Missing: May 10, 2020 (Sunday) – Mother’s Day
Taken By: Unknown

Circumstances:

UPDATE – 2021 (Available at the end of this article)


Suzanne Morphew was a friendly, athletic woman — wife and mother of two. Along with her husband, Barry Morphew, Suzanne is a director of the ‘Suzanne R Morphew Hope Foundation” based out of her home. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that ‘addresses needs of children in various global locations by showing the love of Jesus Christ in tangible ways to address recognized needs.’ (Open 990).

On Mother’s Day 2020, Suzanne Morphew mysteriously vanished in a matter of hours.

Barry spent the weekend in Broomfield, CO outside of Denver (approx. 140mi away) setting up and working on a landscaping job. Their two daughters (Mallory and Macy) were camping in Idaho.

On Mother’s Day, the girls attempted to contact their mom but were unable to reach her. They eventually contacted their father who reached out to friends and neighbors. A check revealed her car was present in the driveway, but her bicycle was gone. Neighbors reported her missing to police at approximately 5:45pm (17:45) on Sunday evening.

Police mobilized a search, which located her bicycle at the bottom of a hill near the Fooses Creek bride in Maysville on the outskirts of Salida, CO.

One or two personal items (some claim it includes her bicycle helmet) were also found along the route.

Suzanne Morphew
May have been wearing this helmet

Those involved have proposed three possibilities for Suzanne’s disappearance:

1) Met a Stranger on the Road

Her husband, Barry, has suggested Suzanne might have encountered a suspect while riding and was either in an accident that is being covered up or was kidnapped. Presently, there have been no identified signs of a struggle.

It is possible the original crime scene is not where the bike was located, the bike was located not far from her home and could have been a red herring. The area showed no signs of a struggle or injury; search dogs were not able to pick up Suzanne’s sent. Someone may have thrown the bike down the hill intentionally, in which case no one knows where or when precisely Suzanne disappeared.

Suzanne’s family lives in a lovely home valued at $1.5M, but financial motivations have not been raised and no one has called for a ransom.

2) Was Attacked By A Wild Animal

The area near the home and where Suzanne was supposedly riding are heavily forested and her disappearance may be the result of an animal attack (e.g. mountain lion). However, there were no signs of animal tracks or injury at the scene.

Barry Morphew claims police did not take proper precautions at the scene where the bike was found, and he suggests any signs of a second person or animal were possibly contaminated or lost.

3) Main Suspect: Barry Morphew

Friday (May 8)

Barry and his landscaping team worked on a construction site east of Salida, CO along Country Road 105. The area includes some beachfront property along the Arkansas River, and is only about 12 mi from the Morphew home in Maysville.

Map of area from Salida to Maysville
The construction area is where 105 runs along the Arkansas River
Saturday (May 9)

Barry called his employees and asked them to finish cleaning the beachfront area, leveling the sand. His employee Morgan Gentile says Barry was acting stressed and changed his mind around 11:00 when he dismissed the staff. He told them he was leaving to do something with his wife, and he remained in town most of that day.

At some point during the afternoon, Barry drove up to Broomfield where they had another landscaping job (a retaining wall) planned. The job was originally assigned to April but had been delayed until Mother’s Day weekend. The plan was for Barry to drive up and get the area set up for work on Saturday, then Gentile would drive up on Sunday to assist.

That night, Mary Branson was sleeping in her home next door to the beachfront construction area that Barry’s team had been working on Friday. She was awoken suddenly by a loud, strange noise that sounded like running machinery. The noise continued for approximately half an hour.

Suzanne’s last social media posts were on Saturday – she has not been heard from since.

Sunday (May 10)

On the morning of May 10, Mother’s Day, Barry Morphew called Gentile and asked her to bring up a team of people instead of coming alone. He seemed very upset ‘frantic, really didn’t sound like himself’ (Fox21News). She agreed to bring Jeffrey Puckett and Cassidy Cordova.

Later that day, Barry’s daughters called him to report their mother was not answering her phone and the search for Suzanne began.

Around 6:00pm (18:00), Barry called Gentile again, saying he had set the job up for them but he had to leave immediately for Salida due to a family emergency.

Gentile, Cordova, and Puckett arrived that evening and stopped by Barry’s hotel room to check on some tools he had left behind. Upon entering the room, both Gentile and Corodva remarked on the strong smell of Chlorine which hotel management does not use in its cleaning regimen. The bed appeared to have been remade, and mail was on the table. The hotel has turned over any CCTV footage to police.

The team later found that the job had not been properly planned; the tools and raw materials they needed were not present and tools they didn’t need were laying around. They waited for two days but then returned to Salida without completing the job.

Debate Between Staff & Morphew

Gentile says when they returned to Salida, they were approached by two men who offered to pay her and Puckett their paycheck for work. The two men also warned her she was not obligated to cooperate with the local police. Gentile ignored the warnings and completed her interviews with police, also handing over her phone. She refused to take a polygraph.

A few days afterwards, Barry fired Gentile. She says it was because she spoke with police; however Barry claims it was over her drug addiction.

Cordova has remained silent regarding everything.

Affair

People have raised the suspicion that Gentile and Barry may have been having an affair, but there is no evidence to prove this and both strongly deny the accusations.

Mixed Cooperation

Barry claims to have spent more than thirty hours in interviews with police and argues he is cooperating with their requests completely.

Andrew Moorman, Suzanne’s brother, however says Barry refused a polygraph and is not fully assisting police. Moorman has shared his suspicion that the marriage between Suzanne and Barry was not entirely a happy one though he has offered no evidence.

The Search Continues

As of September 2020, the FBI and police have managed ten separate searches for Suzanne. This included foot and air searches, underwater mapping, dive teams, search dogs, drones, etc.

Police have searched nearby wooded areas as well as lakes and ponds. For three days, they also searched the family home in Maysville and police were seen removing evidence bags. Nothing significant came from the search and the home was released back to the family. It was listed online for sale in October 2020 for $1.7M.

Police also searched the construction area where Barry was working on Friday and where the witness heard the weird noise. They even dug up a concrete slab under the garage, but found nothing.

On Thursday, September 24th, Suzanne’s brother Andrew Moorman launched a privately sponsored search as well. This is being funded on GoFundMe and has raised over $32,000. Search parties are walking the area ear her home hoping to find new evidence and recover Suzanne’s body.

Her husband and friends are also offering a $200,000 reward for information.

“My sister was murdered . . . I just want to find my little sister. I want to bring her back home and give her a proper buriel.”

Andrew Moorman (brother)

UPDATE 2021

On May 5, 2021, Suzanne’s husband, Barry Morphew, was arrested and charged with first degree murder (after deliberation), tampering with the physical evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant (generally implemented where attempted bribery was involved). (Link).

Although Suzanne’s body has not been located, the sheriff stated that the police believe she has passed away.

Photo: Link

Key Descriptors

  • Date of Birth:
  • Age at Disappearance: 49
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Gender at Birth: Female
  • Hair: Brunette
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Height: 5’4″ (162cm)
  • Weight: 110lbs (49.8kg)

Distinguishing Marks or Factors

  • Unknown

Clothing

  • Unknown

If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact the FBI Tip Line at +1 (719) 312-7530



Resources

  • Baker, K. (2020) ‘Missing Colo. Mom Suzanne Morphew’s Brother Believes ‘Things Weren’t Hunky Dory’ at Home’, People, 31 August. Available from: Link.
  • Baker, K. (2020) ‘Suzanne Morphew’s Brother Says ‘My Sister Was Murdered’ 4 Months After She Vanished on Mother’s Day’, People, 24 September. Available from: Link.
  • Bitler, D. (2021) ‘Barry Morphew arrested on murder charge in disappearance of wife Suzanne Morphew’, Fox31, 5 May. Link.
  • Butzer, S. (2020) ”I’m going to get results’: Brother of missing mother Suzanne Morphew arrives in Colorado ahead of volunteer search’, The Denver Channel, 24 September. Available from: Link
  • Chakraborty, B. (2020) ‘Massive ‘boots on the ground’ search underway in Colorado for missing mom Suzanne Morphew’, Fox News, 24 September. Available from: Link
  • Chaffee Country Facebook Page (2020) ‘Press Releases’. Available at: Link
  • Court, A. (2020) ‘Husband of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew, 49, claims cops have ‘destroyed evidence’ and are trying to ‘blame him’ in first interview since his wife’s disappearance three months ago’, Daily Mail, 21 August. Available from: Link
  • Court, A. (2020) ‘Neighbor says the night before mom-of-two Suzanne Morphew was reported missing she was woken by a loud noise’. Daily Mail, 24 July. Available from: Link
  • Court, A. and Simpson, L. (2020) ‘Home of missing Suzanne Morphew is released back to her family as search for missing Colorado mom enters third week’, Daily Mail, 28 May. Available from: Link
  • Kiloran, E. (2020) Husband of missing Colorado woman Suzanne Morphew shares details of wife’s disappearance in secret recording, suggesting she may have been kidnapped [VIDEO]’, Crime Online, June 1. Available from: Link
  • InterNewsCast (2020) ‘Family of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew still holding out hope for her safe return’, 5 June. Available from: Link
  • Knewz (2020) ‘Arizona man secretly records husband of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew saying he thinks she was ‘abducted”. Available at: Link.
  • Lee, C. (2020) ‘Four months on, Suzanne Morphew’s husband slams speculation regarding his involvement in wife’s disappearance’, Knewz. Available from: Link
  • McRae, J. (2020) ‘Investigators Continue To Follow Leads 4 Months After Suzanne Morphew Went Missing’, CBS Local – Denver, 10 September. Available from: Link
  • McRae, J. (2021) ‘Suzanne Morphew Disappearance: Husband Barry Morphew Now Facing Murder Charges, No Body Found’, CBS Local – Denver, 5 May. Link
  • Miller, J. (2020) ‘$200K reward offered in search for missing Colorado woman Suzanne Morphew’, New York Post, 14 May. Available from: Link
  • Mitchell, K. (2020) ‘Reward in search for woman missing in Chaffee County increased to $200,000’, Denver Post, 14 May. Available from: Link
  • Nicholson, K. (2020) ‘Renewed search for missing Chaffee County woman starts Thursday’, The Denver Post, 23 September. Available from: Link
  • Open 990 (2020) ‘Susan R Morphew Hope Foundation’, Available from: Link.
  • Oravetz, J. (2021) ‘Barry Morphew makes first court appearance after arrest in connection to wife’s death’, NBC 9 News, 5 May. Link.
  • Profiling Evil (2020) ‘Suzanne Moorman Morphew, Missing Person’s Case’, 25 September. Available from: Link
  • Scharf, L. (2020) ‘Missing woman Suzanne Morphew’s house for sale in Chaffee County’, Fox News, 5 October. Available from: Link
  • Singh, K., Scharf, L., and Hempelmann, S. (2020) ‘“I’m not the other woman”: Second contractor speaks out about Suzanne Morphew investigation’, Fox 21 News, 11 September. Available from: Link
  • Sokmensuer, H. (2020) ‘Police Return to Colo. Mom’s Home 2 Months After She Vanished — and Nobody Ruled Out as Suspect’, People, 10 July. Available from: Link
  • Sokmensuer, H. (2020) ‘Husband of Missing Mom Suzanne Morphew Said Police Botched Case, Are Trying to ‘Blame It on Me’, People, 24 August. Available from: Link
  • Styles, R. (2020) ‘Husband of missing Colorado mom spent the night before her disappearance at cheap Denver hotel’, Daily Mail, 2 September. Available from: Link
  • Sylte, A. (2020) ‘Sheriff planning another search in ‘near future’ 4 months after Suzanne Morphew’s disappearance’, 9 News, 10 September. Available from: Link

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