(SALIDA, Colo.) —The tight-knit community of Salida is reeling with questions and emotions following the shocking identification of Suzanne Morphew’s remains Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 27.
After three long years since the Colorado mother vanished, the Salida community is grappling with the harsh reality of Wednesday’s revelation and the memories of her mysterious disappearance in 2020.
The morning after the identification of Suzanne Morphew’s remains, Salida resident Shann Hall placed a sign outside her local business, Poncha Market, bearing the words “Voice for the Voiceless.”
Poncha Market, a family-run business that has been a staple in Salida for nearly a century, has been deeply affected by Suzanne’s disappearance. Hall recalls May 12, 2020 vividly, when Suzanne’s husband, Barry Morphew, the original murder suspect in her case, entered their store with a cryptic note describing Suzanne’s attire and asked store employees to keep an eye out for her.
“What I thought was odd was the fact that he had no information about her. What she looked like, her eye color, nothing… she’s the one that’s missing,” said Hall.
In the three years since Suzanne’s disappearance, Hall said Barry Morphew has made several visits to the store, and Hall expressed unease about his presence.
“I know it’s innocent until proven guilty, but the feeling you get on something like that and the evidence that was out there… it’s hard to see it otherwise.”
With Barry Morphew’s recent murder charge dismissal without prejudice, attention is once again turning to him.
Ernest Marquez, a Salida attorney, explained: “That means it can be brought again… Prejudice means that you can’t be retried. And theoretically, he could be tried… Before you can begin to assess what you know, and what’s possible, you have to know more facts. And there’s just no facts, other than her body was found in Moffat.”
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s statement, though basic, revealed a crucial detail: Morphew’s remains were found during an investigation unrelated to her disappearance.
“Moffat is not known as the place where you go and dump bodies… I guess the question is, why were they looking there in the first place? What were they looking for when they came across Suzanne’s remains?” questioned Marquez.
Questions have also come up about whether this case will have a different prosecutor. Initially, Morphew’s case was under the jurisdiction of the 11th Judicial District. Now that her body was found in Saguache County, legal experts suggest that the 12th Judicial District may have “venue,” giving it the standing to try the case.
As Salida grapples with this new chapter in the Suzanne Morphew case, the community remains united in its search for answers, closure, and justice for the beloved Colorado mother.