Barry Morphew appeared in court on Thursday for the first time on charges of murdering his wife Suzanne, who vanished last May and whose body has still not been found.
Morphew, 52, was arrested on Wednesday at the side of the road in Salida, Colorado. It’s unclear what prompted police to finally arrest him – Suzanne’s body has not found but prosecutors say they are certain she is dead.
Morphew appeared next to his attorney in an orange and white striped jumpsuit. He has been charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant. He has not yet entered a plea – Wednesday’s hearing was an advisement hearing to establish that he had legal advice.
The couple’s two daughters, Mallory and Macy – one of whom is under 18 – were present but the judge, in a written said that they were not to be pictured.
The two girls put on a strong show of support for their father inside the courtroom; they mouthed ‘I love you’ and made heart signs with their hands.
Morphew’s lawyers tried to limit media coverage of the hearing and they also asked if he could appear in plain clothes. Judge Patrick Murphy denied his request.
The judge held him without bail but said he could continue to have communication with his daughters. He will return to court on May 27.
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Barry Morphew is shown being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs on Thursday after the hearing. He did not enter a plea, and spoke only to say that he understood the charges against him; first degree murder, tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public servant
Morphew’s attorney comforted him during the hearing, putting one hand on his back
The couple’s two daughters, Mallory and Macy, were present but the judge, in a written order permitting photography and video of the hearing, said that they were not to be pictured
Morphew was remanded in custody without bond. He will return to court on May 27 and in the meantime is allowed to have communication with his daughters
He did not enter a plea, and spoke only to tell the judge that he understood the charges. Before the appearance, Suzanne’s friends – presuming he is guilty – begged him to reveal where her body is.
‘Just please tell us where she is at so we can get the closure that everyone wants. This was a good day, it’ll be better when we can put her to rest,’ Tisha Leewaye told local network
Suzanne vanished on May 10, 2020, after going out for a bike ride. Barry made emotional pleas for her to return home and insisted all along that he had no clue what had happened to her.
Barry Morphew is seen in his mugshot after he was arrested for the murder of his wife Suzanne on Wednesday
Video obtained by DailyMail.com captured the moment he was arrested on the side of the road on Wednesday.
The 52-year-old landscaping boss was handcuffed by the side of a road near his home in Pocha Springs, Colorado, on Wednesday morning – almost a year to the day after Suzanne vanished.
He is now being held in Chaffee County Jail on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public official.
Suzanne, 49, disappeared without a trace on May 10 last year after reportedly setting off on a solo bike ride from the home she shared with Barry near Salida.
Video shared with
Meanwhile, Barry was photographed with a mystery woman on two separate occasions back in February, DailyMail.com can now exclusively reveal.
Photos taken that month show the father-of-two enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Salida with the younger redhead before dropping her off at a nearby hotel.
The pair were seen again two days later having an animated conversation in his distinctive white truck outside the Salida Comfort Inn.
Suzanne was reported missing on May 10 last year, with police subsequently searching the $1.5 million mansion she shared with Barry.
Investigators also scoured a plot of land close to Poncha Springs where cadaver dogs picked up the scent of human remains during a search organized by Suzanne’s brother Andy Moorman in September
Barry Morphew was photographed with a mystery woman just two months before he was arrested and charged with missing wife Suzanne’s murder, DailyMail.com can reveal
Exclusive photos taken in late February show the father-of-two enjoying dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Salida with the younger redhead before dropping her off at a nearby hotel
The identify of the mystery woman with Barry is unknown
Barry’s distinctive white drunk was seen sitting outside of a Mexican restaurant as he and a mystery woman grabbed food
The pair were seen again two days later, having an animated conversation in his distinctive white truck outside the Salida Comfort Inn
DailyMail.com revealed that the land – which Barry sold in February – was then dug up by FBI search teams, although no body was found.
Barry has now moved into a modest condo in Poncha Springs.
Photos taken by DailyMail.com in February show he has continued to work on his landscaping business and was pictured driving an excavator on a site behind his new home the same month.
On Wednesday, Barry was taken into police custody on three separate charges. He will make his first court appearance on Thursday morning.
His arrest comes despite the fact that investigators have not found Suzanne’s body.
In a press conference held Wednesday evening, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze and District Attorney Linda Stanley defended their investigation from criticism that it has taken almost 12 months for detectives to make an arrest, and insisted that their case was strong.
The pair admitted that they do not know Suzanne’s cause of death, but implied that they have knowledge of an ‘incident’ that led to her killing.
Barry’s arrested affidavit remains sealed amid the ongoing investigation, and he has retained legal counsel ahead of his court appearance.
Last month, Barry sold off the $1.5million family home he shared with Suzanne (pictured). The home was twice searched by investigators, and was reportedly the last place Suzanne had been before she set off on a bike ride on May 10 last year
A map shows the distance between Morphew’s home and where a personal item belonging to the missing mom was discovered
Court documents posted online show that all three charges are for offenses dated May 10, 2020, the day Suzanne disappeared. This indicates police believe she was murdered that day.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Barry faces up to life in prison.
Suzanne’s sister Melinda Moorman told
Moorman said her first reaction was ‘relief’ to finally have answers over her sister’s disappearance and that the family was ‘so grateful’ for the ‘tireless’ work of investigators on the case.
‘Today, justice is beginning for my sister. It’s been a journey that no one ever imagines that they’ll take,’ she said.
‘I want the world to know that my sister was the darling of our family. She was the rose among thorns. That’s what I used to call her.’
She added that she still loves her brother-in-law in a message to Suzanne’s daughters, as she said she wanted to tell them: ‘I’m here for you.’
‘I love your dad even though he’s done a terrible thing,’ she said.
Barry has long maintained his innocence, issuing a bizarre video online in the days after she went missing pleading with her to come home and saying: ‘Honey, I love you and I want you back so bad’ (above)
Suzanne, 49, disappeared on May 10 last year after reportedly setting off on a bike ride from the home she shared with Barry in Salida, Chaffee County
Barry released love letters penned by his missing wife last October as he shared his belief that she was still alive
A sweet note penned by Suzanne recounts all of her memories with her husband
TIMELINE OF SUZANNE MORPHEW’S DISAPPEARANCE
May 8, 2020: Suzanne is last seen by locals in her hometown of Salida, Colorado
May 10: Suzanne is reported missing after her daughters, Mallory and Macy, return from a camping trip in Idaho and were unable to make contact with their mom. Police theorize Suzanne had set off on a solo bike ride as her bicycle was missing from her home. Her husband, Barry, is reportedly out of town at the time. Her bike was discovered a short distance from her $1.5 million home the same day.
May 11: Police launch large-scale search of the rural areas around Salida, complete with drones and cadaver dogs. There is no sign of Suzanne
May 15: A personal item of Suzanne’s – believed to be her bike helmet – is discovered a short distance from her home
May 17: Barry Morphew releases a public video tearfully begging for Suzanne to come home and offering a $100,000 reward for her safe return
May 19: Investigators seize the Morphew home to carry out a thorough search of the property. They are seen leaving the property with evidence bags. The home is later handed back to the family
May 22: Investigators conduct a three day search at a riverfront property around 12 miles from Barry and Suzanne’s home. Barry had reportedly completed landscaping work at the residence shortly before Suzanne’s disappearance
July 10: Police search the Morphew home for a second time, seizing more evidence from the property
August 11: Barry gives his first interview since Suzanne’s disappearance. He insists he has nothing to do with her mysterious vanishing
September 3: Barry’s co-workers reveal he spent the night before Suzanne’s disappearance at a cheap hotel in Denver and left the room reeking of chlorine
September 24: Suzanne’s brother, Andy Moorman, launches his own six-day search to find his sister, saying he believes she was ‘murdered’
October 14: Barry shares old photos and love letters from Suzanne in a bid to prove his innocence
November 18: Suzanne’s father, Gene Moorman, passes away. In his obituary, Suzanne is ‘presumed dead’
March 5, 2021: Barry and Suzanne’s $1.5 millionhome in Salida is sold after six months on the market
May 5, 2021: Barry is arrested on charges for murdering Suzanne
Barry has repeatedly tried to convince the public, authorities and Suzanne’s family that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.
He has also thrown out several theories as to her whereabouts including that an animal attacked her while she was on a bike ride, that she had gotten into an accident on the road or – later – that she had been abducted by an unknown assailant.
The 52-year-old has also taken aim at cops for ‘screwing up’ the investigation and shared private photos and love notes between the couple in an effort to prove his innocence.
Suzanne was reported missing on May 10, 2020 after reportedly vanishing while riding her bike close to her Salida home.
Her bike was found the same day by a bridge close to the luxury home and she had not been heard from since May 8.
Two days later, a personal item – thought to be her bike helmet – was found, while police divers were photographed searching a local dam by DailyMail.com.
A week later, Barry posted an impassioned video on Facebook begging for her safe return.
‘Oh Suzanne, if anyone is out there and can hear this, that has you, please, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back. We love you, we miss you, your girls need you,’ Barry said in the video on May 17.
‘No questions asked, however much they want – I will do whatever it takes to get you back. Honey, I love you, I want you back so bad.’
Barry also offered a $100,000 reward for her safe return.
He told police he had spent the night before her disappearance on a firefighter training course in Denver, before switching stories to claim he had been on a work job in Broomfield.
Last September, DailyMail.com revealed Barry had spent the night before Suzanne’s disappearance in a Holiday Inn in Broomfield, Colorado, and had left his room stinking of chlorine and littered with mail.
Contractor Jeff Puckett, 49, of Salida, Colorado, said he was ordered to Denver by Barry on the day Suzanne vanished but didn’t see him because he had already left ‘due to a family emergency’.
Puckett said: ‘I got there Sunday night and the room smelled like chlorine real bad.
‘It was his room and he’d taken a shower – his towels were all over the floor.’
A manager at the $92-a-night property confirmed to DailyMail.com that they do not use chlorine to clean guest rooms and have handed security footage from the weekend of May 9 to police.
Puckett also said he discovered a pile of mail in the room – including a letter about property insurance – and later turned it over to the FBI.
Police demanded security footage from businesses in the area close to the hotel between Thursday May 7 and Sunday May 10, DailyMail.com learned.
Barry fired back at the revelation in an interview with Fox 21 saying: ‘I did nothing wrong in the hotel. There’s cameras all over the hotel, I did nothing wrong.’
Contractor Jeff Puckett, 49, of Salida, Colorado, said he was ordered to Denver by Morphew on the day Suzanne vanished but didn’t see him because he had already left ‘due to a family emergency’
DailyMail.com revealed in September that a co-worker of Barry’s took over his Holiday Inn hotel room (pictured) on May 10 and found it scattered with wet towels and stinking of chlorine
Barry was seen barbecuing at his home in Salida in July – just two months after his wife went missing
Photos taken by DailyMail.com in February show Barry continued to work on his landscaping business and was pictured driving an excavator on a site behind his new home the same month
He admitted that the room smelled strongly of chlorine, but claimed he had nothing to do with the stench.
A landscaper hired by Barry to work with him that weekend also denied rumors she was having an affair with him.
Morgan Gentile did, however, say Barry was acting strangely at the time of his wife’s disappearance and said she was ‘scared’ of her former boss.
Meanwhile, Suzanne’s family, who live in Indiana, have long been skeptical about Barry’s innocence.
Her brother Andy Moorman, 58, has repeatedly spoken about his suspicions and in September, called for Barryto take a lie detector test.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, he said: ‘I think he should have done a lie detector and voice analysis. I know that’s not admissible in court but it kind of clears you.
‘It says, look, I’m here and I’ll tell you everything you need to know. I’ll take several of them if you need me to. And that didn’t happen. That kind of made me suspicious as well.’
He also launched a crowd-funded search for Suzanne that included cadaver dogs and lasted five days but failed to find his sister.
In October, Barry then released unseen photos and love letters penned by his missing wife in an apparent effort to portray their loving relationship.
A letter allegedly written by Suzanne on Valentine’s Day 2020 read: ‘Just want you to know – my life would be nothing without your love and the excitement you bring to our marriage and my life. All my love – Suzanne.’
Barry has released old photos and love letters penned by his missing wife in an apparent effort to portray their loving relationship