Testimony in a preliminary hearing for accused murderer Barry Morphew Monday revealed investigators searching the house he shared with his wife Suzanne Morphew after her disappearance found a needle cap used with a tranquilizer gun in the dryer and a live .22-caliber bullet next to Suzanne Morphew’s bed.
The preliminary hearing has offered a first look at evidence prosecutors have collected since Suzanne Morphew’s disappearance on May 10, 2020 — evidence that led them to charged Barry Morphew with five felony counts, including first degree murder, even though his wife’s body has not been found.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, testimony so far has revealed that shortly after his wife’s disappearance, Barry Morphew had multiple superficial injuries on his upper arms that could have been fingernail scratches. Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Andy Rohrich also said that Suzanne Morphew’s wallet, filled with cash, was found in her vehicle, along with credit cards, driver’s license, and an appointment card for an upcoming cancer treatment — proof, he said, that she likely didn’t flee from a troubled marriage.
Later on Monday, Rohrich testified that Barry Morphew behaved oddly on the evening his wife was reported missing, the Denver Post reported. When deputies escorted him inside the home to collect a piece of clothing for search dogs — the first time he’d been inside since the disappearance — Rohrich said he didn’t even look around.
“He’s not even trying to call her phone,” Rohrich said. “This is the last place, according to his testimony, that he’s seen his wife alive and he’s not asking any questions.”
Prosecutors believe Morphew killed his wife on May 9, before leaving for work out of town the following morning. Investigators said they recovered empty tranquilizer darts and a dart gun in the house and in Morphew’s gun safe as well as the cap in the dryer. Morphew told investigators he used the tranquilizers to shoot deer to harvest their antlers and had no idea how the cap got in the dryer, retired FBI special agent Jonny Grusing testified.
Grusing also testified that Suzanne Morphew frequently used her cell phone, especially to message a man in Michigan she was having an affair with, but all her messages ended at about 2:15 p.m. on May 9, just a half hour before Barry Morphew came home from work that afternoon.
Read CrimeOnline’s continuing coverage of the Suzanne Morphew case here.
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[Featured image: Suzanne Morphew/handout and Barry Morphew/Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office]