The prosecutor who brought a murder charge against missing Colorado mother Suzanne Morphew’s husband said Wednesday she wouldn’t have done so if she weren’t “confident” in the case.
Barry Morphew, 53, was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of first degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
— Alex Rose (@AlexRoseNews) May 5, 2021
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze and District Attorney Linda Stanley told reporters in the afternoon that the nearly year-long investigation had brought enough evidence to go forward, Denver7 reported.
Spezze told reporters investigators executed more than 135 search warrants, interviewed more than 400 people, and followed up on more than 1,400 tips.
Suzanne Morphew, 49, was reported missing on May 10, 2020 — Mother’s Day. Her husband has repeatedly denied any involvement in her disappearance, but friends and family members have not been convinced.
During an afternoon press conference, Spezze said investigators executed more than 135 search warrants, interviewed more than 400 people in different states, and looked into more than 1,400 tips during the course of the investigation. While Morphew’s body has not been found, investigators believe she was killed and her body disposed of in some manner.
“We believe that she is not alive,” the sheriff said. “We’ve filed first-degree murder charges — or are in the process of filing first-degree murder charges — so our belief is that Suzanne is not alive at this time.”
Stanley said it’s “my job” to determine when a case is strong enough to move forward.
“I’m the one that considers how strong my case is before I bring charges,” she said. “And I wouldn’t bring charges unless I was confident.”
No details of that case have been revealed — the affidavit for Barry Morphew’s arrest remains sealed. He is expected to appear in court on Thursday.
“For me, today is a good day,” Stanley said. B”ut for my office, this is where the work begins. There is more work to be done. However, this is an important and an incredible crucial step. And today is a good day for Suzanne. As far as I’m concerned, today is all about Suzanne. And it’s about her family. And it’s about all the individuals that knew her and loved her and cared about her. That’s what this day is about. And it’s a good day.”
Suzanne Morphew’s sister, Melinda Moorman, told Fox 21 that she was relieved to learn of the arrest.
“I’m just so grateful for law enforcement,” she said. “They have fought the fight for her and today justice is beginning for my sister.”
But, Moorman said, she’s still struck with sadness for both families.
“It’s been the journey that no one ever imagined that they’ll take,” she said. “It’s the journey you see other people take. And you never imagine you are going to be on that journey. It’s been a journey of a lot of heartache. A lot of brokenness.”
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[Featured image: Suzanne Morphew/handout and Barry Morphew/Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office]