SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) – A 53-year-old Colorado husband who is accused of killing his wife appeared before a judge for the first time after being arrested on murder charges at his home near Poncha Springs. Barry Morphew is charged with murdering Suzanne Morphew, even though her body hasn’t been found. The judge ordered that he be held in the Chaffee County Detention Facility without bond.
Suzanne disappeared nearly a year ago after leaving her home for a bike ride on Mother’s Day, and family members said her husband was out of town in Denver when she disappeared. Sheriff John Spezze said in a news conference in Salida a few hours after Barry’s arrest on Wednesday that he doesn’t believe she is alive.
Barry is facing the following charges: murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and attempting to influence a public servant. He was advised of those charges in his Chaffee County Court appearance on Thursday morning. He was wearing a face mask, along with everyone else in the courtroom, and appeared to be very calm as he was given the okay by the judge to have contact with his two daughters. The judge approved his request, as long as the communication remains civil.
The arrest affidavit remains sealed in the case, but comments made by District Attorney Linda Stanley would indicate authorities have some sense about what the cause of death was.
“So at this time, without the body, we wouldn’t be able to say that publicly. We do have information that led us to this point today and how we think a certain scenario had occurred, but as we investigate further that may change, so at this time we can’t comment,” Stanley said on Wednesday.
Officials with the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release that investigators from their department and partner agencies have spent “thousands of hours” working on the high-profile case and gotten more than 1,400 tips from the public as they’ve tried to locate Suzanne. More than 135 search warrants have also been executed so far.