This story has been updated in response to emerging questions about some information that was referenced in an earlier version.
A source who knew Suzanne Morphew when her family lived in Indiana says the community has been shaken by the news of her mysterious Mother’s Day disappearance, as those following developing reports on the investigation fear it may have taken a dark turn.
Morphew, 49, was reported missing on May 10, when a neighbor called police to say that the mother of two had not returned from a bike ride. Morphew’s husband Barry Morphew, who works as a landscaper and is a volunteer firefighter in Chaffee County, is believed to have been in Denver at a job site on the day his wife was reported missing — but law enforcement officials have not confirmed his whereabouts on that weekend.
For nearly two weeks, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office has been searching for the missing woman, with the aid of the FBI and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. A public information officer confirmed earlier this week that the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office had obtained a search warrant for Morphew’s sprawling Maysville home, and that family members did not have access to the residence during the ongoing investigation.
Chaffee County Fire Chief Robert Bertram told CrimeOnline on Thursday that Barry Morphew was staying at a friend’s home in the area. The fire chief did not know where Morphew’s two daughters were.
A source who asked not to be identified said they knew the family when the Morphews lived in Alexandria, Indiana, and that Suzanne was a beloved member of the community.
“She’s a beautiful person. What you see is what you get,” the source said, adding, “You would never expect something like this.”
According to the source, the Morphew family moved from Indiana to central Colorado in the spring of 2018, after the Morphew’s eldest daughter moved to Colorado for college, and when their younger daughter was still in high school. The source said they believe Suzanne was less enthusiastic about the move than her husband was.
“I think there was some angst about the move itself,” the source said, noting that the Morphew’s Alexandria home remained on the market for a while after the family relocated to Colorado. Online real estate records indicate the $800,000 home was sold in May 2019. The Morphew’s Maysville home is believed to be valued at about $1.5 million.
Although another Indiana resident has spoken to various media outlets and YouTube channels claiming to have witnessed Barry Morphew’s purportedly violent temper at a construction site there, the source who spoke to CrimeOnline on Friday said they never saw any red flags in Barry’s demeanor.
“He was kind of a quiet guy, who minded his own business.”
A February post from a social media account believed to belong to Barry Morphew said that his wife had “beat cancer twice.” The Indiana-based source said that Suzanne’s cancer had returned around the time the family was preparing to move to Colorado in 2018, and that she “was not doing well” at that time. CrimeOnline cannot independently verify claims about Suzanne Morphew’s medical history.
The source also said that Barry Morphew was an avid hunter, a claim that is supported by photos on Morphew’s social media accounts.
On Friday, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that investigators were searching a residential property on the east side of Salida, which borders Maysville. The sheriff’s statement notes that the owners of the residence are not connected to Morphew’s disappearance, and have been cooperative.
— Lauren Scharf (@LaurenScharfTV) May 22, 2020
The fire chief told CrimeOnline that he believed Barry Morphew had worked on a landscaping job at the site being searched, but law enforcement officials have not confirmed this.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Friday that it would provide further updates at the conclusion of Friday’s search .
Anyone with information is urged to call the dedicated tip line at 719-312-7530.
*An earlier version of this story referenced the possibility of emails being sent to members of the Morphew’s former church in Indiana shortly after Suzanne’s disappearance. CrimeOnline has removed the reference while we work to evaluate the credibility of the claims.