Authorities investigating the disappearance of Colorado mother Suzanne Morphew say they have found a personal item they believe may belong to the missing woman.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a neighbor reported Morphew missing on Sunday evening when she did not return to her Maysville home from a bike ride. It is not clear how long Morphew was gone before the neighbor contacted authorities, who immediately launched a large-scale search for the 49-year-old mother of two that has continued throughout the week. On Wednesday, the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation joined the search effort.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office had previously released very little information about the investigation, but Sheriff John Spezze told CBS4 Denver earlier this week that his department had not ruled out foul play, and that investigators did not believe Morphew had been involved in an animal attack in the remote, mountainous area of central Colorado where she had gone for a bike ride on Mother’s Day.
On Friday, the Chafee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that investigators had discovered “what’s believed to be a personal item of the missing woman” west of County Road 225 and Highway 50, just outside of Maysville. Authorities are now focusing the search on a specific area and have closed U.S. Highway 50, Monarch Pass until further notice. The sheriff’s office is prohibiting media access to the area, but said in the release that the department will hold a press briefing to share the latest developments, likely on Friday afternoon.
The news release did not provide any further information about the personal item that was found. Morphew’s nephew Trevor Noel told local media on Thursday that authorities recovered Morphew’s bike on Sunday, but the sheriff’s office has not confirmed this.
Morphew’s husband Barry Morphew has offered a no-questions-asked $100,000 reward for the safe return of his wife, which was matched by a family friend for a total reward of $200,000. Morphew’s relatives have also launched a volunteer search effort for the missing woman which appears to be operating independently from the police investigation.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.