“You don’t just see beauty when Suzanne is around, you feel it”: Friends describe missing Chaffee County woman

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CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — A Chaffee County woman vanished on Sunday, May 10. It was Mother’s Day.

49-year-old Suzanne Morphew reportedly left home for a bike ride and never returned. The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office reported more than 600 tips have been called in, but still no sign of the missing mother of two. The Sheriff’s Office said it is continuing to gather information and has asked the public to call its tipline with any information: (719) 312-7530.

Family and friends spoke to FOX21 Digital NOW, describing Suzanne as beautiful inside and out. The family still hopes Suzanne will come home.

“Suzanne has always been beautiful. Everything about her is beautiful you don’t just see beauty when Suzanne is around, you feel it. Suzanne loves Jesus and she loves like Jesus. Always with a sweet smile and a kind word. She has a peaceful presence about her. She loves her family. She is so thankful to be a Momma, it wasn’t a guarantee for her, not something she could assume would happen when she was ready. Jesus made a way. Not once but twice. Blessings upon blessings.

We have a lot of questions and to say we don’t understand why or how this could happen to precious Suzanne is an understatement. But I know that wherever Suzanne is He is with her and she is with Him. When I stumble and my faith becomes weak I think of Suzanne and know she would want me to praise Him in this storm. He didn’t promise we wouldn’t face them, but he promised we wouldn’t face them alone. Suzanne is so very loved, to know her is to love her. Please help us find her.”

Amber Heifner Aiman, Second Cousin

“She was one of those people that would make you feel happy when you saw her,” Karry Wooddell said. “She was someone who would make you feel comfortable and she was so kind and open and would do anything for you.”

Wooddell met Suzanne at the gym after she moved to Colorado in the fall of 2018. Their daughters play high school volleyball together. Wooddelln said she considered Suzanne to be one of her best friends.

“She was super fit and you could tell she loved working out and loved being at the gym and, so, instantly we hit it off and started talking about our workouts and what we were doing,” Wooddell explained. “It was fun to get to see the two of them working out together and you could see them catching up together on the treadmill, they were really close.”

Suzanne, a strong woman on many levels, overcame Hodgkins Lymphoma twice. Once before her children were born, and again as the Morphew family moved to Colorado. The family says they celebrated her last cancer treatment on October 1, 2019.

“Some days I would be in the chair next to her getting chemo. Suzanne was one of the nicest people I have met. She was always cheerful and had a great attitude about her cancer and life. She loved her daughters more than anything in this world and they loved her more than anything too. She would never just up and leave them, never!

Her daughters (one or both) would always be with her for her treatments. I saw Barry come in once, he was not overly friendly and seemed to be uncomfortable there. That is not unusual as it’s often hard for loved ones to be there.

Suzanne was so happy on the day of her last treatment. She was still coming in for maintenance treatments, but the chemo was done and she was doing great. She was supposed to come in for her maintenance the Monday after Mother’s day, but of course, did not show up. She was a bright light in this world. I really miss Suzanne and pray that justice is served.

Fellow Cancer Survivor

Suzanne also served, enthusiastically, at Grace Church in Salida, volunteering and providing lunches for students at Young-Life. FOX21 reached out to the church for a comment. Staff there would not provide a comment on Morphew’s disappearance, but did say their church community is praying for her. As yet, no prayer vigil has been planned.

“Suzanne has always been a wonderful person. Growing up, she truly was kind to everyone. She would always be there to lend an ear, if you needed it. Quiet, beautiful, always carried herself well.

She reminds me a lot of her mother, and the word I always use to describe Adrianne is “Classy”. Suzanne had a beautiful singing voice in High School. She was in the Choir, as well as Show Choir, those were fun times!

She reached out to me, after moving to Colorado, to see if I knew, or was planning a 30 year Class reunion for last year, as she wanted to plan a trip home for it! Oh, how I regret not stepping up, and making that happen.”

Amy McCurry, Childhood Friend

“One of the last times I saw her, I was at Walmart when the pandemic had started,” Wooddell said, in tears.

“I saw her pull up across from me in her car and – it’s been lonely. Gyms were closed, everyone had been socially distant, so I had missed seeing her. And she was one of the people I had really missed seeing, so when I saw her pull up, I went to just tap on her window. She rolled her window down and I jumped back, because I didn’t want to be close to her and, she’s just so cute, she said, ‘Oh, I’m just about to mask up. I’m about to put all my stuff on.’ I said, ‘How are you, how are the girls?’ And she was telling me about how much fun she and the girls were having cooking and planning meals every day, and how much she was cherishing this time with both of her daughters.”

During a time of panic and confusion, Wooddell indicated, Suzanne put her family first.

Her family and her community is now returning that favor.

“We are on a mission to find Suzanne,” Nephew Trevor Noel said.

“I know that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look – look her name up to see if anything new has come up,” Wooddell added.

The family said the two Morphew daughters are staying with their dad at the family home in Maysville. They also mentioned that the girls were away at a camping trip out of state when their mother went missing.

A plea from Suzanne’s husband, Barry was shared online exactly a week after she disappeared. A reward of $200,000 by the missing woman’s family and friends is being offered in exchange for her safe return.

FOX21 has made several attempts to speak with Barry Morphew, but have not heard back.

Watch FOX21 News at 9 on Thursday, July 23 for a second special report on the investigation into the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew.

PART TWO: Neighbors want answers two months into Chaffee County woman’s disappearance

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