CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — For the first time since May 10, the day Suzanne Morphew seemingly disappeared from her Chaffee County home, her husband, Barry, spoke, over the phone, exclusively to FOX21’s Lauren Scharf.
More than three months have passed since 49-year-old Suzanne Morphew reportedly left home on a bike ride, and didn’t return.
According to one of just a handful of updates, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor reported Morphew missing.
During a 25-minute conversation that took place Tuesday, Barry theorized over what may have happened to his wife. He mentioned the possibility of an animal attack, an accident, perhaps, with someone on the road, or even, he said, a run-in with someone who knows her well.
Barry declined an in-person interview and said he did not want a recording of the call to be aired.
He said he has continued to search for Suzanne, the mother of his two daughters, despite the public’s apparent perception he isn’t doing enough.
“Honey, I love you and I want you back so bad,” said Barry on May 17 in a video posted online.
The pre-recorded video was released a week after Suzanne Morphew was reported missing. It was the first time – and the last time – he has spoken publicly on the matter. But on the phone with Scharf, Barry said, “my wife and I have been in love since 1988 and she’s the love of my life. And I continue to search for her every day and I will until I find her. I promise and I promised my girls that.”
He also spoke about his family’s deep-seated faith.
“We don’t know why God does what he does,” Barry told Scharf. ” But we have to trust him.”
And, over the phone, Barry said unfair coverage of his wife’s disappearance has painted him in a bad light, and convinced him to stay silent.
“I am afraid of what is out there,” he said. “People don’t know the truth, so they’re gonna think what they’re gonna think.”
Juliet Fitzgibbons, an avid biker from Denver who decided to drive out for a ride in the Salida area, has doubts.
“I don’t know why the husband won’t speak out, right?” Fitzgibbons said. “Any info is good info… if you’re trying to find out what happened to the mother of your children.”
Fitzgibbon’s ride that day happened to align with the area where Suzzane’s bike was found. She said the area isn’t marked.
“I actually missed seeing the ribbon,” she said. “I wish there was a bigger memorial here.”
And a store manager at the Poncha Market described an encounter with Suzanne’s husband, a few days after Suzanne’s disappearance was publicized.
“Somebody knocked on the window and it was Barry Morphew,” Tiffany Butala said.
Butala is a store manager at the market and watched Barry on May 12th around 8 p.m. write the note on the back of a receipt.
“He went to write down a description of maybe what she was wearing,” Butala said. “I just thought it was weird because he didn’t explain the color of her eyes were or her hair or anything about her like how tall she was or anything.”
“This is the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me,” Barry explained. “But I have got to keep my faith and trust in God. And Suzanne trusted the Lord and if one person got saved from this, she would think it was worth it. And we are just a Godly, loving, caring, family and this thing is just a tragedy.”
In an earlier interview, Suzanne’s family told FOX21 CBI agents asked Barry to take a polygraph test on two separate occasions, and, each time, he turned them down.
“I’ve never been asked to do a polygraph,” Barry said. “There is nothing that I am hiding. I have given three – 30 hours of testimony to the FBI and the CBI. I’ve answered every question. Every single question.”
Dan Corsentino, a private investigator in Pueblo, said it is possible those agencies did not ask Barry Morphew to take a polygraph. He also said it could be reasonable for an innocent person to deny the test.
“Investigators may offer a polygraph only to have a subject or the person of interest refuse it based on legal advice, knowing the polygraph is not admissible in a courtroom. So, therefore, what is the use of taking it,” Corsentino said.
Although the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office has not provided updates on the Morphew investigation since July 9, nor has it provided information pertaining to suspects or even persons of interest, Corsentino said scrutiny on the missing woman’s husband would not be surprising.
“Investigators start with the people closest to the alleged victim in the case,” Corsentino said.
Barry did admit an inconsistency in one timeline he provided to investigators.
“It was only because I didn’t know the time that I did something, a mechanical thing, to my bobcat,” he said. “I was confused and I just found out my wife was missing, and I was a little bit not in my right mind when they were asking me these questions, but I did the best I could and I answered everything. I never once declined any interview.”
Regardless of what others may think, Barry said a big concern of his is the way in which the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office has handled this investigation.
“The Sheriff’s Department screwed this whole thing up from the beginning and now they are trying to cover it up and blame it on me,” he said. He went on to cite an incident he found particularly troubling, which occurred, he said, when deputies found his wife’s bike.
“My buddy was there right after that, and he said that they completely destroyed the evidence, and he tried to stop them, but they wouldn’t listen to him and said, ‘this is not CSI,'” Barry said. “There’s no evidence for the investigators to see because the Sheriff’s Department completely obliterated it.”
As the phonecall between Barry and FOX21 reached its end, Morphew said he and his daughters are holding onto the hope that Suzanne is alive and will be found.
In the past, Morphew and family friends have promoted a $200,000 reward for information leading to Suzanne’s safe return – no questions asked.
FOX21 reached out to Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze multiple times for a statement and interview, but he repeatedly denied those requests. Sheriff Spezze has only provided one press conference relating to this case, which happened May 15.
Back on July 9, Sheriff Spezze said, “this case remains very active, as more than a dozen investigators are aggressively working this case on a daily basis. And until we determine what happened to Suzanne, we can’t discount any scenario or formally eliminate anyone from suspicion.”
Suzanne’s father, Gene Moorman, 87, spoke with FOX21’s Lauren Scharf about his daughter. One of his fondest memories with Suzanne, he said, is dancing with her.
The Moorman family said their goal is to bring Suzanne home safely, but they are worried it may be too late.
The public is asked to continue to report any information about this case to the tipline by calling (719) 312-7530.