By Jamie Leary

SALIDA, Colo. (CBS4) – On day two of a preliminary hearing for Barry Morphew, who is accused of killing his wife, Suzanne, much of the morning was spent rehashing Suzanne’s relationship with the man investigators have referred to as her lover, Jeff Libler. In the afternoon, prosecutors outlined Barry’s and Suzanne’s movements in the days surrounding her disappearance.

Barry and Suzanne Morphew

(credit: Morphew family)

In September of 2019, Suzanne’s best friend, Shelia Oliver advised Suzanne that she should begin tucking away money to be able to live on her own. At some point, Suzanne set up a secret Green Dot bank account as well as an account with a fund management company, Compass Management. The FBI agent on the stand, Ken Harris, said he didn’t follow up on these accounts.
By February of 2020, Suzanne had acquired the spy pen to see if she could catch Barry cheating, but it only served to capture elements of her affair, later discovered by investigators. The spy pen also picked up arguments with Barry about finances, which Suzanne told Sheila most of their arguments revolved around.
Suzanne Morphew

Suzanne Morphew (credit: Morphew family)

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In March, Suzanne told Shelia she had a conversation with her youngest daughter, Macy about separating from Barry. While Macy was aware her parents were having issues, she told investigators she never saw her father being physically abusive. Her statement was backed up when the Morphews’ elder daughter was questioned.

When Former FBI agent Jonathan Grusing took the stand later on Tuesday, more details were shared about Suzanne Morphew’s final days as well as Barry’s whereabouts and behaviors.

(credit: Morphew family)

While Suzanne’s phone has not been found, investigators were able to recover documents from her iCould account. One of those documents was a list Suzanne made on May 8, entitled “grievances.” It included notes like “wedding ring,” which Barry allegedly took and melted at some point. She also noted women on Facebook, which Barry told her was good for business, as well as an incident in Mexico where Barry tried to take her phone away and look at it.

On the morning of May 6, Suzanne sent Barry a firm text which indicated she wanted to end the relationship. The text was found in Barry’s cache indicating it had been deleted. It read:

“I’m done I could care less what you’re up to and have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.”

Barry’s reaction involved threats of suicide: “When I’m dead which won’t be long, you guys will be taken care of,” and “I’m going to see my savior.”

On the morning of May 9, a day before Suzanne was reported missing, 59 communications were exchanged between Suzanne and Jeff Libler.

That afternoon, Suzanne was outside sunbathing and she snapped a photo of herself, smiling, and sent it to Jeff.

“We consider that photo her last proof of life,” former agent Grusing told the court.

Barry arrived home shortly after, that’s when all communications from Suzanne stopped — to anyone.

Investigators used GPS records and data from his Ford F350 to pinpoint his locations. Grusing showed a map of is cell phone pings around the house stating that they were all over the outside of the house, indicating he was chasing Suzanne while she was still conscious.

(credit: CBS)

During questioning in November of 2020, Barry indicated he was shooting chipmunks. Grusing asked him if he was using a .22 caliber rifle, which he said was important because investigators found a tranquilizer dart cap in the Morphew’s dryer, and knew that a .22 caliber rifle would also fire that. Barry confirmed it was the .22 he was using to shoot chipmunks.

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On Tuesday, Morphew’s defense team attempted to poke holes in this theory saying it was purely speculation and that the cell phone pings showed Barry going through walls.

“Do you still believe you have evidence that he is most likely chasing Suzanne?” Barry’s attorney, Dru Nielson asked.

“Yes,” replied Grusing.

“What?” She asked exasperated, “Due to the chipmunk statement?”

“Yes,” replied Grusing.

In the early morning hours of May 10, data from Barry’s truck showed doors opening and closing multiple times between the hours of 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., but it never left the driveway and during this time.

Investigators determined Barry’s phone was also on airplane mode at the time.

His phone signal was first detected on his way to a job site in Broomfield. He said he left home around 5:30 that morning, which was corroborated by truck and cell phone data. He told investigators Suzanne was sleeping when he left.

While he went to go to the job site, he only spent a short time there — investigators said he did a drive by. The rest of the time was spent entering and leaving a hotel room in Broomfield — as well as making stops at various trash cans to dispose of unknown items.

In total, he stopped at five separate trash receptacles before noon. He told investigators he couldn’t recall what he had thrown away.

“In 10 interviews with Barry, the only thing we could get him to move on was his tranquilizer material from his garage… he couldn’t say which trash run they were disposed in,” said Grusing.

To this day, investigators have not found Suzanne’s body or even a drop of blood in the case.

Investigators have said they still need to do more searches around the Morphew property but to date, have conducted the following:

Grid searches with local law enforcement and contracted volunteers, Search and Rescue team searches, drones and drone teams, aircraft, scuba divers, swift water rescue, K9s were brought in, recently mines were searched as well as an Xcel water pipe, ground penetrating radar survey was done by geologist and concrete was removed from a garage slab from a project, there were multiple excavations done with no human remains found.

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The preliminary hearing is set to resume in late August.

Jamie Leary