Financial problems may have played a role in the presumed murder of a Colorado mother who has been missing for a year, Suzanne Morphew’s sister has said.
Authorities on Wednesday arrested Suzanne’s husband Barry Morphew and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of his wife, who vanished on Mother’s Day weekend in 2020.
While investigators have not publicly identified a motive, Suzanne Morphew’s sister told KCNC-TV that she believes financial pressures may have strained the couple’s relationship.
“I think life happens, I think pressures and stresses in life, I think financial pressure bears in on people very heavily,” Melinda Moorman told the television station. “It creates an atmosphere of discontent and strife and sometimes living beyond your means is a very hard thing to do.”
Moorman cautioned that she does not know anything specific about what happened to her sister, and she suggested that her belief about their potential financial distress is based on her knowledge of their relationship generally — not necessarily a specific incident.
“Learning to be content with what you have is a very powerful thing in this life, and it brings great peace, and I don’t think Barry and Suzanne had gotten there yet, and that’s what I think kinda happened and I can’t really say more than that,” Moorman told KCNC-TV.
Suzanne Morphew was reported missing last Mother’s Day – May 10, 2020 – after her daughters could not reach her. Her bicycle was found near the family home in Maysville, Colorado, although police have not confirmed whether she actually went for a bike ride.
Barry Morphew has said he traveled to a Denver suburb three hours away in the early morning of May 10 for a construction job, but that he returned home after learning his wife was missing.
Arrest records indicate that investigators believe Suzanne Morphew died on May 10, 2020, although her body has not been found.
She and her husband had been seen in a town near their home the day prior.
Moorman told KCNC-TV that she was not surprised by the arrest, and that while she felt sadness, she said she also felt relief about moving forward to obtain justice.
While Moorman is grappling with what happened, she told the television station that her strong faith is helping her, and that she is choosing to remember her brother-in-law in a positive light.
“I will always speak to Barry Morphew. I have had many conversations with God about Barry Morphew starting last year when this happened and I am a woman who believes in great forgiveness,” Moorman told KCNC-TV.
“Barry has a faith, a very fundamental faith but I don’t believe my brother-in-law has ever experienced the grace and the mercy and the gentleness of Jesus Christ, and I pray that he will be afforded that beauty in his life and find redemption and forgiveness. That’s my heart for Barry, I love you and this is what I pray for you, Barry, because I know you and I saw the man way back when who got up and fixed a peanut butter sandwich for Macy when she didn’t want to eat what was on the table and the tenderness that I saw and I’ve never forgotten that Barry, and that’s how I choose to remember Barry Morphew.”
Moorman added that she hopes the public will remember her sister as a loving person.
“My sister had a strong faith in Christ, she loved God and she loved people so my sister for me is safe in the arms of God and that’s how I choose to think of her today,” Moorman told KCNC-TV. “She had a beautiful exterior but what people always need to remember is my sister had a beautiful heart and that’s the honor I want to give her.”
In addition to the charge of first-degree murder, Barry Morphew is also charged with tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public servant.
Barry Morphew is in custody without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 27.
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