• Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

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Colorado man ‘hunted’ down wife in alleged murder plot, authorities say

Law enforcement documents released Monday in the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew allege that her husband “hunted” her down and staged a crime scene after she revealed she was going to leave him.

Barry Morphew, 53, who was charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in his wife’s presumed death, was released from a Colorado jail Monday after he posted $500,000 cash bail.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Barry Morphew appears in court in Salida, Colo., on May 6.Pool/KUSA via AP file

Video from outside the Chaffee County jail Monday showed him emerging from the building with the two daughters he had with his wife. He did not respond to reporters’ questions.

The body of Suzanne Morphew, 49, has never been found. Her mountain bike and helmet were discovered on the side of a county road in Salida, Colorado, near the family’s home, on May 10 — Mother’s Day.

Neighbors had reported her missing, and police found no damage to the bike or blood nearby, according to the arrest affidavit released Monday.

In the 129-page document, the chief investigator with Colorado’s 11th Judicial District cited a relative, a friend and secretly recorded notes made by Suzanne Morphew that portray her husband as abusive and controlling.

She had long suspected her husband of having affairs, and she began having one in 2019 with a man she had gone to high school with, the affidavit says.

In an interview with law enforcement agents, Barry Morphew denied that he had had any affairs and said he had never been abusive to his wife. He also denied knowledge of his wife’s affair.

Four days before Suzanne Morphew vanished, she sent a text message telling him that the relationship was “done.”

“Let’s handle this civilly,” she said, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit accuses Barry Morphew of taking “steps to control her, incapacitate her, stage a crime scene and create his alibi for her disappearance.”

By May 9, the document continues, “it had become clear that Barry could not control Suzanne’s insistence on leaving him, and he resorted to something he has done his entire life — hunt and control Suzanne like he had hunted and controlled animals.”

In interviews with authorities, Barry Morphew denied being involved in his wife’s death and suggested others who he said he believed may have been responsible, including Suzanne Morphew’s relatives or a drug dealer.

He added that there was no evidence of his wife’s death — even though investigators “are absolutely certain of it,” authorities said.

“That’s very troubling to me,” he was quoted as saying.