CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — During the first day of Barry Morphew’s preliminary hearing, it was revealed that Suzanne Morphew was participating in an extramarital affair at the time of her disappearance – with a man with whom she attended high school. The two apparently dated for two years. It appears as though Suzanne’s family – including her husband, Barry Morphew – had not been aware of her affair until several months after she disappeared.
Barry Morphew has been charged with first-degree murder after Suzanne, the mother of their two children, reportedly left her Chaffee County home and did not return.
Morphew appeared in court on Tuesday, Aug. 10, for the second day of his preliminary hearing ahead of trial.
Day one of Barry Morphew’s preliminary hearing complete in Chaffee County
Although Suzanne Morphew’s body has not yet been recovered, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze has publicly said that he does not believe she is still alive.
Morphew is being held in the Chaffee County Jail without bail and is awaiting trial. Morphew was arrested in May of 2021, nearly a year to the day of Suzanne’s disappearance. He’s being held in the Chaffee County Jail without bail on the following charges:
- Murder in the first degree
- Tampering with a deceased human body
- Tampering with physical evidence
- Possession of a dangerous weapon – short rifle
- Attempt to influence a public servant
- Forgery of Public Records
- Misdemeanor Elections-mail ballot offense
On Tuesday, the courtroom saw new text messages exchanged between Suzanne and Barry Morphew which showed a clear decline in the couple’s relationship.
In response to his wife’s text that she was “done” with their relationship, Morphew responded: “I promise you, you are wrong about all the crazy thoughts about me. Why would I want another, only a fool would stray from an angel like you.”
Suzanne was officially reported missing four days later.
On the stand on Tuesday, FBI agent Kenneth Harris mentioned a search of Barry Morphew’s phone had revealed deleted web history. Watching closely, Morphew sat up in his chair as Harris described a web visit to “Ashley Madison,” a site that describes itself as a dating service for people who are married or in relationships.
The State also mentioned a visit to the site “Celebrity Jihad,” which describes itself as a site with “nude celebrity photos and videos brought to you by Islamic extremists.” With that, Morphew crossed his arms.
Agent Harris did clarify that he did not know who was responsible for those web searches.
When asked about the whereabouts of Suzanne’s boyfriend on the date of her disappearance, Harris said Jeff Libler was in Michigan – and had evidence of Libler shopping at a hardware store there.
On May 9, 2020, the day before Suzanne was reported missing, a (now former) FBI agent, John Grusing said Morphew was in and out of their Chaffee County home. Grusing said when Morphew returned from a job around 2:45 p.m. that day, Suzanne was sunbathing and sending photographs of herself to Libler.
Suzanne’s selfie was shown to the courtroom. The Morphew’s two daughters, Mallory and Macy, cried as they looked on.
Grusing also said, during a search of the Morphew family home, he found the cap of a tranquilizer dart in the dryer.
Morphew has said he left Chaffee County for a job in Broomfield during Mother’s Day weekend of 2020. In court on Tuesday, the State said Morphew made several “trash runs” while he was away.
Morphew apparently made another trash run after he arrived at his hotel in Broomfield. Morphew has confirmed doing so but has said he doesn’t remember what he threw away.
Surveillance video at a Broomfield McDonald’s showed Morphy making a third trash drop just before 9:15 a.m. The video shows him pushing trash down into the can with both hands.
Later, Morphew spent 40 minutes at a dump behind the Men’s Warehouse, also in Broomfield. The FBI said they also captured a video of Morphew making a fifth visit to a dumpster. They said he mentioned he had thrown away tranquilizer material.
Attorney Dru Nielsen questioned Agent Grusing, while looking through phone records, for proof that Morphew called Suzanne as he drove home from Broomfield.
FOX21 will provide further updates on the Morphew case as it move forward for trial.