SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) — Barry Morphew, who is accused of murder in the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, is in court on Monday — and we are learning more about why investigators believe he is guilty. With evidence in the case sealed, the preliminary hearing is the public’s first look at the prosecution’s case against him.

(credit: CBS)

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The first witness was the lead investigator, who testified that Suzanne Morphew had been having an affair with an old high school friend from Michigan named Jeff Libler. The affair had been going on for approximately two years — which wasn’t discovered until about six months after she disappeared.

Libler never approached authorities after Suzanne disappeared but instead, deleted all correspondence between the two. When he was questioned six months later, he told investigators he got rid of their communication because he didn’t want Suzanne’s legacy to include the affair. He was also married with six children at the time.

LinkedIn messages were recovered in December of 2020 which showed the pair had exchanged nudes and met on at least 6 occasions out of state where they eventually engaged in a sexual relationship.

They discussed marriage and even moving to Ecuador together once Suzanne left Barry.

After his interview with investigators, Libler was told he was not a suspect in the case.

On Monday, prosecutors also showed body camera video that had not been released before — from the day Suzanne went missing. It shows officers handling her bike, shouting her name and looking for her. They also presented video from later that evening, showing Barry Morphew arriving at the large scene. He was crying and asking to see the bike.

Investigators admitted in court Monday that the scene where Suzanne’s bike was found was never sealed off and encountered heavy amounts of traffic from friends, family as well as search and rescue crews hoping eager to help find her.

Prosecutors say Barry Morphew was interviewed at the scene for about 30 minutes. During the interview he suggested that police look at the “suspicious” RV park nearby, and speculated that she may have been taken by a mountain lion.

Prosecutors focused heavily on text messages between Suzanne and her long-time friend Sheila Oliver. The pair exchanged dozens of text messages between September of 2019 and March of 2020, detailing Suzanne’s fractured relationship with Barry.

In one text message Suzanne told Sheila, “says he loves me and can’t handle the pain from me not giving him the love he needs. Does not mention all the damage he’s done to me. Physically, mentally.”

In later text she wrote, “Told him I’m done. That I need peace. Not sure what’s next” and “He tries to use money as a tool and the girls. I didn’t take the bait.”

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This was all occurring as Suzanne was undergoing cancer treatments. According to interviews with Shelia, Suzanne felt unequipped to leave because when she would argue about it with Barry, he would ask her how she expected to pay for her cancer treatments.

In another text to Sheila, she referred to Barry as Jekyll & Hyde writing, “he won’t speak of divorce. Begging for another chance. I’m so torn but in my heart I know who he is.”

As close as she was to Sheila, investigators say she never told Sheila of the affair and said Barry didn’t know about it either, although he said suspected there may have been an emotional affair of some kind.

In court, investigators said they continue to look for Suzanne’s body and confirmed they have never found a drop of Suzanne’s blood, in their home or anywhere else.

Barry Morphew’s daughters were in the courtroom on Monday. During a break, they cried, and he pulled his mask down and mouthed, “I love you.”

Suzanne Morphew disappeared after leaving her home for a bike ride on Mother’s Day 2020. Her body has never been found and what happened remains a mystery.

(credit: CBS)

Family members said Barry Morphew was out of town in Denver when she disappeared.

Last year, Barry Morphew told CBS4’s Jamie Leary that he believes she was abducted.

(credit: Morphew family)

Barry Morphew is charged with first-degree murder, tampering with a corpse, possession of a deadly weapon and attempting to influence a public servant. He is represented by the Eytan Neilson firm.

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During the preliminary hearing, prosecutors lay out their evidence and the judge will decide whether there is enough to proceed with a trial.

Jamie Leary