CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Following an influx of tips, investigators continued their search efforts on Saturday in the case of a missing Chaffee County woman. Suzanne Morphew, 49, has been missing since May 10.
According to Chaffee County Sheriff, John Spezze, members of the sheriff’s office, along with assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), followed up on tips and conducted targeted searches Saturday. The efforts were all in areas “based on information provided to those working the case,” the sheriff said in a release.
The search came a day after a much larger effort which led to the temporary closing of Monarch Pass (Highway 50). For hours, nearly 90 investigators searched a 2.5-mile area near County Road 225 and Highway 50 to search for clues into the disappearance of Morphew.
In a press conference following the Friday search, Spezze said investigators had located what appeared to be a personal item of Morphew, but declined to provide more information.
When asked about the status of the case, Spezze said it is still a missing persons case.
“Obviously as time goes by it gives us concern, but we are searching as though she’s still alive and we do believe she could still be alive,” he said.
Morphew’s neighbor reported her missing to the sheriff’s office on May 10, and said she went on a bike ride west of Maysville, in the area of West Highway 50 and County Road 225. Family has said her husband was out of town at the time.
In an interview with CBS4’s Alan Gionet earlier this week, Morphew’s nephew, Trevor Noel, said investigators found her bike.
“It’s really tough physically. It’s taxing up and down these hills. And it’s emotionally draining, you know, being with the family and still being empty-handed,” Noel told CBS4 on Thursday. “We want to leave our options open, and we want to make sure that we cover every hill… and know that everyone out here is doing everything they possibly can to find her.”
There is currently a $200,000 reward for information that leads to finding Morphew. Half of the reward was originally pledged by her husband, while a family friend later pledged the other $100,000.
Sunday morning, Noel renewed pleas for anyone who knows any information to call the tip line.
You can contact the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office at 719-539-2596 or Chaffee County Crime Stoppers at 719-539-2599.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with their efforts.