Unsolved Mother’s Day disappearance of Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew returns to spotlight 4 years later

Four years after Colorado mother of two Suzanne Morphew disappeared from a Mother’s Day bike ride in 2020, her case remains a mystery, even after her remains were located in October 2023.

The most recent development in her case came on April 29, when the Colorado Bureau of Investigation released Morphew’s autopsy results, saying she died by homicide “in the setting of” drug intoxication.

Iris Eytan, an attorney representing Suzanne’s husband and the father of her two daughters, Barry Morphew, said in an April 29 statement that for “the past four years, the Morphews have agonized over Suzanne’s disappearance.

“This included not only the pain of the loss of their wife and mother but also the false accusations and prosecution of Barry Morphew,” she said. “The Morphews have prayed the authorities would remove their blinders and not only find Suzanne, but find the suspect responsible for her disappearance and murder. However, the Morphews are left with more questions than answers and a lack of justice for Suzanne, the family and the community.”

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On Sunday afternoon, Suzanne’s loved ones will be gathering at Poncha Town Hall in Poncha Springs, Colorado, to remember the 49-year-old mother.

Colorado authorities located Suzanne’s remains in the area of Moffat, Colorado, in Saguache County, about 45 miles south of her home in Maysville, Colorado, where the 49-year-old mother was reported missing on May 10, 2020.

The Chaffee County Medical Examiner determined her homicide occurred “by undetermined means in the setting of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine intoxication,” the same sedatives Barry previously told investigators he used to shoot deer in his yard with a tranquilizer gun, according to The Denver Gazette.

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Over the last four years, the case has been embroiled in disputes between prosecutors and Barry Morphew’s defense team.

Barry was initially accused of killing his wife when he was charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence in 2021 in her disappearance and presumed death.

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A year later, prosecutors dropped charges against the father of two, saying they wanted more time to find his wife’s body. A judge also accused 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley of procedural violations just before Barry was to stand trial. No other arrests have been made in Suzanne’s murder.

Barry’s legal team filed a $15 million lawsuit against prosecutors and investigators in 2023, accusing them of violating his constitutional rights.

Anne Kelly, the 12th Judicial District Attorney, will determine whether any more charges can be brought forward in the case since Suzanne’s remains were found in Saguache County, which her office oversees, according to The Denver Gazette.

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Barry maintains his innocence in his wife’s death, and Eytan said Suzanne’s autopsy results confirm “that she put on her mountain bike clothes and was either getting ready for, or was already on her morning bike ride, when she was abducted, allegedly drugged and buried 50 miles south of their home.”

Morphew’s remains were not “found anywhere in the vicinity of her home, the town nearby or the county she lived in,” Eytan previously explained in an October 2023 statement. 

Investigators never found any traces of blood near the Morphew home in Maysville or in their family vehicles. Investigators did, however, find a partial DNA profile on Suzanne Morphew’s glovebox, which matched profiles developed in sexual assault cases out of Chicago and Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, CBI agent Joseph Cahill said during a hearing in 2021, according to The Denver Post. Investigators also found “unknown male DNA … where her bike was parked, on her bike grips, handlebars and bike seat,” Eytan said.

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But “the authorities will not tell the Morphew family whether Suzanne’s bike clothes, collected seven months ago with her remains, have been tested for DNA,” the attorney continued. 

“DNA left on her clothing by the murderer could bring justice for Suzanne, her family and the community. The authorities will also not provide the Morphews any information regarding whether they have performed any testing on the bullet that was collected with Suzanne’s remains,” Eytan said. 

“The authorities offered the victims, Barry, Mallory and Macy, the option to retrieve Suzanne’s remains, but they want to ensure the suspect is apprehended before they take what could be an important piece of evidence in the suspect’s prosecution.”

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Text messages from Suzanne and Barry unsealed in June 2023 suggest they were both having affairs just before her disappearance.

Four days before her disappearance, Suzanne sent Barry a text saying she was “done.” 

“I could care less what you’re up to and have been for years,” she wrote, adding they needed to figure things out “civilly.”

Authorities are asking anyone with information about the case to contact (719) 312-7530.