Three days after his wife disappeared from their Chaffee County home, Barry Morphew refused to take a polygraph test, according to a 130-page arrest affidavit unsealed and released Monday.
Morphew “said he ‘didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t 100% accurate,’” the affidavit reads.
Morphew, 53, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, 49, who disappeared from the family’s home near Maysville in May 2020. Her body has not been found; Barry Morphew was charged nearly a year after she disappeared after extensive searches.
During a four-day preliminary hearing this summer, prosecutors outlined their theory of what happened. They believe Barry Morphew killed his wife on the afternoon or evening of May 9, 2020, perhaps after discovering she’d carried on a nearly 2-year-long extramarital affair.
Suzanne stopped sending messages from her phone at 2:13 p.m. that day, around the time her husband returned home that afternoon. Investigators found a bullet near the couple’s bed and a needle cap used with a tranquilizer gun in the home’s dryer.
Investigators testified that someone used Barry Morphew’s truck at 3:25 a.m. May 10; his wife’s phone last pinged at 4:23 a.m. They also said they searched for Suzanne’s journal but did not find it — only the burned binding of a book in the family’s fireplace. Barry Morphew told investigators the couple had been cleaning out filing cabinets.
Morphew’s defense attorneys pointed out that DNA was found in Suzanne Morphew’s car that corresponds with partial DNA profiles in three unsolved sexual assault cases in different states. And body-sniffing dogs also did not identify the smell of human remains in Morphew’s truck, testimony revealed.
On the morning of May 10, 2020, Barry Morphew drove from the family’s Chaffee County home to the Front Range, where he appeared to make five “trash runs” at various spots near Broomfield. Video shows him stopping at trash cans and dumpsters at a bus station, fast food restaurant, department store and hotel.
Suzanne Morphew was reported missing by a neighbor on May 10. Authorities found Suzanne’s mountain bike at the bottom of a steep ditch off County Road 225 on the day she went missing. Her helmet was found less than a mile away a few days later. Investigators at the time noted that Barry Morphew had injuries to his hands and scratches on his left arm that appeared to be from fingernails.
In an interview with investigators, Barry said the scratches were from a tree he encountered on a hike, according to the affidavit.
Eleventh Judicial District Court Chief Judge Patrick Murphy on Friday found there was probable cause for the murder case to go forward and set a $500,000 cash bond on the condition Morphew not leave Chaffee County.
Morphew, who has pleaded not guilty, is also charged with tampering with a human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempting to influence a public servant. He has said he did not know about his wife’s extramarital affair until after she disappeared.
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