Suzanne R Morphew (Missing Person)
Alternative Name: Unknown
La Apoda: Desconocido
Nombres alternativos: Desconocido
Missing from: 19057 Puma Path, Salida, Colorado, United States
Date Missing: May 10, 2020 (Sunday)
Falta de: 19057 Puma Path, Salida, Colorado, Estados Unidos
Falta en la fecha: 10 de mayo de 2020 (domingo)
This Article Is Updated As Of September 27, 2023. Most recent Information is at the end.
Please note that due to the extensive media coverage this case has received over the past several years, much of the information available is speculative and unverified. The timeline of events, in particular, is challenging to accurately establish. While efforts have been made to include the most up-to-date facts as of September 27, 2023, it is possible that certain crucial details may have been overlooked or that more recent information is now available. If you believe there are inaccuracies in this article, we kindly request you to provide feedback through comments or by directly contacting us via email.
Prior to Disappearance
Prior to her disappearance, Suzanne enjoyed a seemingly enviable life. She lived in a lovely home with her successful husband Barry, and their two lovely daughters, Mallory and Macy. Suzanne and Barry were high school sweethearts from Alexandra, Indiana who tied the knot in 1994 after graduating from Purdue University. Attractive and popular, they were the epitome of a power couple. Barry would later go on to establish his own successful landscaping company; while Suzanne taught before deciding to become a full-time stay-at-home mother. As one acquaintance described Suzanne:
“She was a sweetheart. . . almost like an angel, like something’ you’d see off a Hallmark movie.”Cody Cox (former employee of Barry Morphew) (Link).
Fast forward to 2018, their daughters were growing up, with Mallory attending college while Macy was in high school. Unfortunately, media reports that by this point Suzanne and Barry had begun facing challenges in their relationship. Seeking a new experience and the opportunity to move closer to Mallory, they relocated to a home on the outskirts of Salida, Colorado.
Suzanne enjoyed exploring the rough terrain in the surrounding areas; she was an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed hiking, biking, and various other physical activities. She also used her time to serve as director of the Suzanne R Morphew Hope Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit run out of her home 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).
Tragically, she only gained widespread attention after she went missing while home alone on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2020. Her disappearance sparked an extensive search effort and received significant media coverage but few new details have emerged since that fateful day. The circumstances surrounding Suzanne’s disappearance remain under investigation, and law enforcement agencies have been working to determine what led to her vanishing.
To friends and colleagues in Salida, Barry and Suzanne seemed to have a harmonious relationship. Barry was described by his employees as a quiet and focused individual who excelled at his job. Observers who witnessed Barry and Suzanne’s interactions said they did not detect signs of conflict or problems between the two, and Barry himself continues to assert that their relationship was still a loving one.
Suzanne’s family and close friends however says the marriage was deteriorating. Two days before her disappearance, she sent a text message to her sister expressing anger towards her husband, accusing him of emotional and physical abuse (Source). She also voiced her concerns to a friend regarding her husband’s alleged manipulative behavior, specifically how he often pit their daughters against her, convincing them to take his side in their arguments (Source). This dynamic made her worry about the relationship with her daughters if they were to separate. Not to mention the fact that when she discussed a separation, he would often express suicidal threats if she should leave him. On top of these challenges, Suzanne had not been employed for several years and still had significant medical expenses from her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which put her in a precarious financial situation if she decided to establish her own independent life. Nonetheless, her family says Suzanne was contemplating filing for divorce by May 2020.
In anticipation of the upcoming legal battle, Suzanne decided to acquire a discreet recording device cleverly disguised as an ink pen. Her motive was to uncover evidence of Barry’s suspected infidelity; however, upon examination by investigators, the pen failed to provide any proof of any alleged affair on his part. Instead, what the pen unveiled was Suzanne’s own secret affair spanning two years with Jeff Libler, a married father of six hailing from Michigan.
Suzanne and Jeff had enjoyed a short romance either during or shortly after high school before going their separate ways. Then, unexpectedly, Suzanne contacted Jeff in 2018 and the two would go on to maintain communications across multiple social media platforms, by phone, and even in person on several occasions. The relationship was still ongoing when Suzanne disappeared and had become quite intimate. They sent photos to one another and discussed plans to marry and possible leave the country. Despite Suzanne’s love interest with Jeff, she apparently wanted to wait on her own divorce until after Macy was no long living at home. It appears that Barry suspected Suzanne was having an affair, but it is not clear if he had found evidence of the relationship. Intriguingly, Jeff would later become the last person to have contact with Suzanne before she mysteriously vanished.
The relationship between Suzanne and Barry became increasingly volatile in the days leading up to that Mother’s Day weekend according to her friends and family. A heated argument over financial matters occurred four days before Suzanne’s disappearance, evident from their exchanged text messages. The tension continued to escalate, with Suzanne declaring an end to their marriage and urging a civil resolution to their remaining issues. Barry, however, dismissed Suzanne’s concerns as paranoia and professed his profound love for her. Unfortunately, it appears that their problems remained unresolved, as Suzanne continued to communicate with Jeff Libler in the days that followed. Two days later, Suzanne texted her sister expressing her unhappiness with the current situation.
As the weekend approached, Barry made plans to work on a landscaping job in Broomfield, Colorado on Sunday, approximately 140 miles away from home. This meant that Suzanne would be spending the day alone at home, as Mallory and Macy were camping in Idaho and would not return in time to celebrate with their mother that year.
Friday (May 8)
Barry and his team of landscapers were working at a construction site east of Salida, along Country Road 105. The picturesque area showcases stunning riverfront properties along the Arkansas River and is conveniently located a short 12-mile distance away from the Morphew residence in Maysville. Whether or not Barry returned home that evening remains uncertain.
Saturday (May 9)
Barry revisited the prior day’s worksite and brought his team along to finish leveling sand along the beachfront. One of his employee, Morgan Gentile, observed Barry displaying signs of stress before abruptly dismissing the staff at approximately 11:00am. Barry explained he had plans with his wife later that day. Meanwhile, Suzanne her the afternoon enjoying the sun and playing on her cell phone. She shared a few social media posts and devoted most of her time to texting back and forth with Jeff. Their exchange reached an unusually high number of fifty-nine messages. As the afternoon progressed, Suzanne sent Jeff a selfie in the last image of her before her disappearance. Around 2:00pm (14:00), Suzanne and Jeff’s conversations became more explicit, prompting them to switch to WhatsApp to continue their intimate messaging. Suzanne texted Jeff at 2:11pm (14:11) to confirm she had successfully joined him on the WhatsApp platform. This was the last known interaction someone and Suzanne. . . she had not been heard from since that moment,
At 2:26pm (14:26), Barry sent a message to Suzanne, informing her that he had completed his work and was headed home. Suzanne did not respond . . .
According to data obtained from Barry’s cell phone, he arrived home a few moments later around 2:30pm (14:30). However, something peculiar happened afterwards – his phone started moving erratically all around the family’s yard, as if Barry himself was swiftly moving across the area. Barry claimed he was chasing and shooting chipmunks that had been pestering their family. Unfortunately, there is no evidence available to either support or disprove Barry’s hunting alibi.
From 2:47pm (14:47) to 10:17pm (22:17), Barry’s phone remained untraceable, locked in airplane mode for reasons unknown. According to Barry, he and Suzanne spent a pleasant evening together to celebrate the holiday before he headed to bed at 8:00pm (20:00). Neither Barry nor Suzanne contacted anyone outside of the home (nor did she message Jeff), making it difficult to confirm the events of that evening. There is however evidence that suggests someone in the home was active long after 8:00pm. The electrical system of Barry’s Ford pickup showed that it was backed up and moved closer to the home at approximately 9:30pm (21:30). His phone was turned back online around an hour later.
Mary Branson, a resident living near the beachfront property where Barry’s company had been landscaping earlier that day, was awakened late in the evening to a peculiar, loud noise coming from the worksite area. The noise, resembling that of running machinery, lasted for about thirty minutes.
Sunday (May 10 – Mother’s Day)
According to his plans, Barry would leave home early the following morning around 5:00am to drive to a second worksite in Broomfield, Colorado, about 140 miles away from home. He was supposed to be prepping the site for his team to work on over the next few days.
From 4:00am to 8:00am, his vehicle failed to record activity leaving his precise movements unknown. His phone did show him leaving the house around 4:00am where he headed in the direction of the spot where Suzanne’s bike was found (he claimed to have seen some elk he wanted to observe). Around 4:23am, Suzanne’s phone pinged a one final time before going silent. Barry’s phone then shows him headed to Broomfield by 5:37am.
At 8:10am, the truck came back online and both the vehicle and phone place Barry in Broomfield sometime afterwards. Upon arriving in town, Barry first spent some time throwing things away in five various trash cans around town, supposedly to avoid paying to dispose of his company’s waste at landfills.
By 12:30pm, Barry had arrived at the local Holiday Inn where he had acquired a room; he made a trip to a McDonalds and Men’s Wearhouse where he threw more items away before returning to the hotel and remaining there until around 6:00pm (18:00). At some point, Barry contacted Gentile and asked her to bring a team to work with him on the retaining wall in Broomfield so Gentile began heading that way accompanied by Jeffrey Puckett and Cassidy Cordova.
Meanwhile, Macy and Mallory attempted to call their mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day but were unable to reach her. unbeknownst to them, Jeff also messaged to wish Suzanne a happy Mother’s Day but Suzanne did not respond. Mallory eventually reached out to Barry who contacted their neighbors to look in on Suzanne. A check revealed that her car was still present in the driveway, but her bicycle was gone. Suzanne was a beginner biker and would not normally have taken any of the more difficult trails. Concerned, the neighbors (at Barry’s urging) reported her disappearance to the police at around 5:45pm (17:45) on Sunday evening.
Barry contacted Gentile and let her know that there was a family emergency; they arranged for one employee to stay in his room while the others were booked rooms of their own. Barry left around 6:03pm (18:03) to drop off some tools at the worksite and then headed back towards Salida.
Gentile, Cordova, and Puckett arrived in Broomfield later that evening and stopped by the hotel rooms. Upon entering Barry’s room, they remarked on the strong scent of chlorine, a chemical hotel management does not typically use for cleaning. Conversely, the hotel room was located about the pool and may have picked up the scent from there. The bed appeared to have been remade and mail was on the table. The hotel later provided available CCTV footage to the police.
The team later discovered that the jobsite had not actually been adequately planned and that necessary tools and materials were missing; meanwhile, tools they did not need were still laying around. They waiting for Barry to return and stayed in town for two more days, but ultimately returned to Salida without finishing the job.
By the time Barry arrived in Salida, police had already mobilized a search operation that recovered Suzanne’s bicycle at the bottom of a hill near the Fooses Creek Bridge in Maysville, about half a mile from the Morphew home. The bicycle showed no signs of damage. Barry met police on side at around 8:40pm (22:40). Their daughters made it back in town later that evening, but no one knew where Suzanne had gone.
Two days following Suzanne’s disappearance, her teal bicycle helmet was found approximately a mile away from her bike along the south side of Highway 50. It is possible the helmet was thrown there from a passing vehicle to confuse investigators. While it initially appeared that Suzanne disappeared while riding her bike, her sunglasses and other aids were still located in her Range Rover; as were her identification, wallet, purse, and credit cards. Only her cell phone remained missing. The bike was located not far from the Morphew home and the area nearby showed no signs of a struggle or disturbance. Nor were search dogs able to pick up Suzanne’s scent. Consequently the primary crime scene remains unknown.
The area surrounding Suzanne’s home is dense with forest and there was some concern regarding the possibility of an animal attack. However, there were no signs of animal tracks or of a struggle near the scene of her bicycle. That being said, Barry later expressed concern that police had failed to protect the investigation site and that evidence may have been contaminated or lost.
In the wake of Suzanne’s disappearance, extensive efforts were made by the FBI an local police to find answers. Ten separate searches were carried out, involving a variety of methods such as foot and air searches, underwater mapping, dive teams, search dogs, and the use of drones. Law enforcement meticulously searched nearby wooded areas, as well as lakes and ponds in the vicinity. For three days, they thoroughly combed through Suzanne’s family home in Maysville. During the search, evidence bags were observed being removed by police. Investigators later announced that they had uncovered two key pieces of evidence from the home. The first was a clear plastic cap from what appeared to be a syringe of a tranquilizer dart gun. Barry was an experienced hunter who had used similar darts in the past to illegally take antlers from deer he caught. Police believed it was possible that the dart gun had been used to incapacitate Suzanne at her home before relocating her body elsewhere. The second was a broken doorframe which they suggested might be a sign of a struggle occurring in the home. It is not clear whether Barry said the damage was new or if he claimed it had been there prior to that fateful day.Eventually, the property was returned to the family and was later listed for sale online in October 2020, with the asking price of $1.7 million.
Another significant search effort took place in the construction area where Suzanne’s husband, Barry, had been working on Friday. As part of the investigation, they also excavated the concrete slab under the garage; however, no relevant discoveries were made. There were some suspicions raised that Gentile and Barry may have been having an affair but no evidence was presented and both strongly denied any such accusations. When the team returned from Broomfield, Gentile says they were approached by two unidentified men who offered to pay her and Puckett their paycheck from the job. The men warned Gentile that she was not obligated to cooperate with local police; however she completed her interviews with police voluntarily and handed over her phone. A few days afterwards, Barry fired Gentile, allegedly over her drug addition.
Jeff Libler failed to come forward initially and worked to hide the relationship between himself and Suzanne by deleting the records of their communications. After locating the ‘spy’ pen Suzanne had purchased in her closet at home, police were able to uncover her relationship with a “Jeff.” However, it would be several months before they uncovered Jeff’s true identity. Once police identified him, Jeff came forward and worked with police voluntarily. He is no considered a suspect as he was in Michigan the entire weekend.
2021 Arrest & Trial (Barry Morphew)
On May 5, 2021, Suzanne’s husband was arrested and charged 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. Barry pled not guilty and was released on bond to await the trial. His daughters have always stood behind their father and insist he was not involved in their mother’s death.
“We just know our dad better than anyone else and we know he was not involved in our mom’s disappearance”-Mallory Morphew
The evidence against Barry appears to have been largely circumstantial. While it appears to be clear that the marriage was fraught with unhappiness, the prosecution has not presented evidence that undeniably links Barry to Suzanne’s disappearance. His DNA was not present on the plastic cap and instead investigators uncovered an unidentified man’s DNA in Suzanne’s Range Rover. The DNA tested positive for an man who is linked to three other unsolved cases involving sexual assault in Tempe, Chicago, and Phoenix. The prosecution was later held accountable for breaching the rules of Discovery and for perpetrating negligence throughout the course of the trial. On April 19, 2022, the court dismissed the charges without prejudice and Barry once again went free.
Determined to find answers, her family and friends also offered a substantial reward of $200,000 for information leading to her whereabouts.
“My sister was murdered . . . I just want to find my little sister. I want to bring her back home and give her a proper burial.”Andrew MoormanAndrew Moorman (Brother)
On Wednesday, September 27, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation shared the news that Suzanne’s remains have been located during a search in the area of Moffatt in Saguach County. Moffatt is located bout 45 miles away from the Salida area and the remains were found in an area no where near the location of Suzanne’s bicycle.
The search was launched as part of a separate investigation unrelated to Morphew’s case. The remains were initially found on Friday, September 22 but have just now been positively identified.
- Date of Birth:
- Age: 49
- Ethnicity: Caucasian
- Nationality: United States
- Gender at Birth: Female
- Hair: Brunette
- Eye Color: Blue Eyes
- Height: 5’4″ (162 cm)
- Weight: 110 lbs (49.8kg)
- Languages Spoken: English
- Fecha de Nacimiento:
- Años: 49
- Etnia: Caucásica
- Nacionalidad: Estados Unidos
- Sexo al nacer: Feminino
- Pelo: Pelo Morena
- Color de los ojos: Ojos Azules
- Altura: 5’4″ (162 cm)
- Peso: 110 libras (49,8 kg)
- Idiomas: Inglés
Distinguishing Marks or Factors (Características Distintivas)
Medical Concerns (Atención Médica)
- She had previously recovered from Hodgkin’s lymphoma multiple times
- Anteriormente se había recuperado varias veces del linfoma de Hodgkin.
- She may have been wearing a teal helmet
- Ella puede haber estado usando un casco verde azulado
If You or Anyone You Know Has Information About The Disappearances, Please Contact:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Online Tip
- +1 (719) 312-7530
- Your Nearest American Embassy
- Your National Police
Or use the QR Code (right) to find contact information for various National Police Agencies
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- 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
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- 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
- Sant, P. (2023) “Authorities hint they know location of Suzanne Morphew’s body: “She is in a very difficult spot,” says prosecutor”, CBS News, 2 July, Link.
- Bonvillian, C. (2021) “Suzanne Morphew: Love affair, ‘trash runs’ revealed at hearing for husband of missing woman”, Kiro 7, 11 August, Link.
- Jablow, M. (2021) “FBI: Suzanne Morphew told Barry she was ‘done’ with the marriage”, 9 News, 10 August, Link.
- Shapiro, E. (2022) “Family of missing mom Suzanne Morphew breaks silence after husband’s murder charges dropped”, ABC 13, 6 May, Link.
- Canterbury, C. (2022) “
- No. 10 Story of 2022: Charges dropped against Barry Morphew in wife’s disappearance”, Canon City Daily Record, 20 December, Link.
- Roberts, M. (2021) “Affidavit: Barry Morphew Blamed God for Death of Wife”, Westword, 22 September, Link.
- Mashak, E. (2023) “What We Know About Missing Colorado Woman Suzanne Morphew Nearly 3 Years Later, 95 Rock FM, 24 January, Link.
- Sabes, A. (2023) “Remains of Colorado missing mom Suzanne Morphew found three years after disappearance”, Fox News, 27 September, Link.
- Keith, T. (2023) “Remains belonging to missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew found in Colorado”, KKTV, 27 September, Link.
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