SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) — A residential construction site is now the focus of the search for Suzanne Morphew, a Colorado woman who was reported missing from her Chaffee County home on Mother’s Day. The property owner confirmed to CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that Suzanne’s husband was hired to lay dirt on the riverfront land, located east of Salida.
The owner of the property told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that he has known Barry Morphew for three weeks. The river front property was undergoing improvement. Concrete was laid over the dirt.
The property owner has told others that investigators have been using an x-ray type device to try to see through the concrete.
The FBI, CBI and Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office sifted through the dirt Friday, looking for any sign of the missing mother. Investigators say the search was initiated based on “information developed during the Suzanne Morphew missing person case.”
FBI agents could be seen with buckets sifting through material. An evidence response team truck was parked nearby.
Investigators said Friday the property owner is fully cooperating with law enforcement and is not connected with the disappearance of Ms. Morphew.
The search will resume Saturday morning. Investigators said Friday night Suzanne had not been found and no arrests had been made.
It’s been nearly two weeks since Morphew, 49, was reported missing after going on a bicycle ride.
As Friday’s search by the banks of the Arkansas River was being conducted, authorities were tight lipped — declining to answer questions.
Ray Kitson has a daughter who lives nearby and has served the Morphew family at his restaurant.
“It’s been crazy. All along we’ve been hearing about it and also supported people going out trying to find her,” he told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.
Morphew’s husband was in Denver, her family says, and a neighbor reported her missing when she didn’t return from a bike ride. Morphew’s bicycle was recovered but investigators have not said anything about its condition.
“…the house continues to be held by law enforcement during this open investigation through a search warrant that has been sealed by the court,” the sheriff’s office stated this week.
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze stated that it is not unusual in these types of investigations to start at the home and extend outward, in an effort to seek clues surrounding the disappearance.
“The Morphew residence is just one of many areas of focus as part of this open investigation at this time,” officials with the sheriff’s office stated.
Other searches have taken place in a reservoir, an area around County Road 225 and Highway 50, and the Monarch Spur RV Park, which is owned by Fred Porter and located near the Morphew home.
“It’s suspicious to me. I don’t know happened, nor does anyone else. Hopefully they will find her alive,” said Porter.
Suzanne’s husband Barry issued an emotional plea for her return, offering to do “whatever it takes.”
“Please, we’ll do whatever it takes to get you back,” Barry Morphew says in the video. “We love you and miss you and the girls need you.”
Officially, this is being treated as a missing person case, but the Chaffee County Sheriff said all possibilities are being considered.
As of Wednesday, May 20, investigators had received approximately 200 tips reported to the designated phone line for information about Morphew’s disappearance.
Morphew’s husband posted a reward of $100,000 for information. That was doubled by a family friend, to $200,000.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI are searching for Morphew. The investigators created a dedicated tip line for anyone with more information: 719-312-7530.