CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — Authorities are mounting “a comprehensive search” in the area where a new clue has been found in the disappearance of 49 year old Suzanne Morphew. A “personal item” belonging to Morphew was found during the search just west of County Road 225 and Highway 50. The area is west of Maysville, about 20 miles from Salida.
The sheriff’s office did not elaborate on the item, but a relative of Morphew confirmed it is not her bike, which was recovered Sunday night. There’s no information out yet on whether the bike was damaged.
Morphew had gone biking Sunday while family says her husband was out of town in Denver. A friend reported her missing when she didn’t return home.
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze has told CBS4 her disappearance was “probably not” related to animals. The Sheriff’s Office said approximately 50 people would be involved in Friday’s search. The FBI and CBI are both now involved in the investigation, as well as investigators from the 11th Judicial District and Salida Police.
The area where searchers will focus is not far from the Morphew home in Maysville. Morphew and her husband Barry have owned the home for two years. Barry Morphew is a volunteer firefighter in the community. He posted $100,000 dollars in reward money, which has been doubled by a family friend to $200,000.
“We want to do whatever it takes to get her back,” nephew Trevor Noel told CBS4. He urged people to submit clues and learn to recognize his aunt from photos. “Go to the Facebook page, check it out. Just see her face, read some comments, think about it. Especially if you’re in the Chaffee County area, this part near Salida.”
The sheriff said to expect Highway 50 to be closed in the area Friday as they search.
Investigators have received “dozens of tips” in the case and have now created a dedicated tip line. It is: 719-312-7530.