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Barry Morphew appears emotionless for preliminary hearing


Suzanne Morphew sent husband Barry a message saying ‘I’m done’ three days before she vanished, a court in Salida, Colorado, heard on the third day of a preliminary hearing. 

Wearing a gray suit, dark tie and white shirt, and clutching an orange envelope, Morphew, who was charged with Suzanne’s murder in May, looked on impassively as his defense lawyer Dru Nielsen argued that the case should be thrown out. 

The court heard how the missing mom, who disappeared on Mother’s Day 2020, spent her final days messaging her married lover Jeff Lidler, telling him her husband is never around and that she was ‘spying’ on him.  

Police investigators told the court that Suzanne’s final call was made on the afternoon of May 9 – the day before she vanished. And her final message to dad-of-six Lidler came the same day at 2.07pm with Suzanne complaining of Morphew: ‘He’s always gone somewhere. It never stops.’

Barry Morphew is in court today for the third day of a preliminary hearing. The court in Salida, Colorado, heard that his missing wife Suzanne sent Barry a message saying ‘I’m done’ three days before she vanished

Barry Morphew is being held in jail without bond. So far the prosecution has kept much of its case secret - his attorneys are protesting against it and say he should be granted bail

Barry Morphew (pictured in court in May ) is being held in jail without bond. So far the prosecution has kept much of its case secret - his attorneys are protesting against it and say he should be granted bail

Barry Morphew (pictured in court in May ) is being held in jail without bond. So far the prosecution has kept much of its case secret – his attorneys are protesting against it and say he should be granted bail

Police have been going over Suzanne’s final days, telling the court how she got pizza at Moonlight Pizza and Brew Pub in Salida on May 8 and spent the morning of May 6 having coffee with neighbor Jean Ritter.

Barry learned his wife Suzanne had been having a two-year affair with one of her high school classmates, Jeff Libler (pictured), in the days before allegedly killing her

Barry learned his wife Suzanne had been having a two-year affair with one of her high school classmates, Jeff Libler (pictured), in the days before allegedly killing her 

Ritter, who placed the call to police after Suzanne’s daughters raised the alarm, told the FBI that the mom-of-two had seemed ‘energetic and excited’ during their two-hour chat.

Suzanne also messaged Lidler to tell him that Morphew was contemplating a move to Arizona which she thought was ‘weird.’

Later the court heard how Suzanne’s purse was found inside her 2015 white Range Rover, complete with a medical card showing she was due to have treatment for cancer the day after she vanished.

Undersheriff Andy Rohrich told the court that Suzanne’s purse also contained large quantities of cash and her driver license and credit cards.

He also said a .22 caliber unspent round was found next to Suzanne’s bed in the master bedroom of the Morphew home, while cracks were found in the doorframe.

Rohrich said in his experience, the cracks were consistent with a forced entry. He said he had spoken to the previous owner of the property who told him the cracks were not there when he sold the Morphews the home.

Rohrich also discussed burned remnants found inside the Morphew fireplace, including a piece of lacquered wood that was partially destroyed. He noted firewood was stacked beside the fire.

He went on to describe what looked like the remains of burned documents and strands of material that ‘looked similar to book binding’ – telling court police had never managed to find Suzanne’s journal.

CBI investigator Derek Graham also testified, telling the court that an empty syringe from a dart gun had been found inside the Morphew’s dryer.

Bodycam footage was also shown of the moment Morphew was escorted into his home by deputies after his wife was reported missing.

Dressed in a red t-shirt, he was taken there to choose a piece of clothing of Suzanne’s to give to searchers with dogs and was seen in the footage pointing to a closet and going into the kitchen to collect a Ziploc bag.

He pointed out a pair of black bicycle shorts and Rohrich noted there was a pair of cycling gloves thrown on the floor.

Rohrich said it was significant that Morphew never asked questions, didn’t to try to call her phone and wasn’t looking around, despite telling cops the house was the last place he had seen Suzanne alive. 

The court also heard that Morphew was found to have injuries to his hand and upper left arm when he attended a police interview on May 13.

Rohrich said the marks on his upper arm and appeared to be fingerprints, adding: ‘There’s three abrasions or cuts starting to scab over.’ 

Crowds gathered early on Monday morning for day three of Morphew's preliminary hearing

Crowds gathered early on Monday morning for day three of Morphew’s preliminary hearing

Police have been going over Suzanne’s final days, telling the court how she got pizza at Moonlight Pizza and Brew Pub (pictured) in Salida on May 8 

Investigator Johnny Grusing was grilled by Morphew’s defense team over his timeline and whether they had photographic evidence of Barry disposing of trash as he drove to Broomfield, Colorado, for what he claimed was an urgent job on May 10. 

According to Grusing, police found empty tranquilizer darts in the home and said Morphew told them he had been shooting at deer with his .22 caliber pistol on the morning of May 9, as well as chipmunks. 

According to cops, surveillance footage taken at a gas station close to the Morphew home picked up Morphew in his truck at 2.23pm on May 9 heading home.

The truck wasn’t seen again until 5.14am the following morning, when Morphew said he was heading to Broomfield, Colorado for a job.

Grusing said Morphew did not drive directly to Broomfield, Colorado, for a job on the morning of May 10 as he had claimed but instead drove towards the spot where Suzanne’s bike was found, according to data from his truck. 

Morphew said he left the home at 5am but turned left out of his drive instead of right towards Broomfield, after allegedly spotting a herd of elk before turning round at the Garfield Mine. 

He said Morphew told police he had been following an elk to see if it would shed its horns – despite that only happening in Fall. 

Data from his truck revealed in court showed it had been at the home but had been opened seven times and the lights switched on six times between 3.25am and 3.49am. 

Police said he was then picked up on surveillance camera at a gas station 15 minutes in the opposite direction at 5.14am.

At the Holiday Inn hotel in Broomfield, Morphew claimed to have been showering and watching TV but police said he left the hotel to dispose of trash and purchase a new outfit from a nearby branch of Men’s Wearhouse.

The court also heard that it was possible Morphew had been tracking his wife’s phone and messages, while she admitted to Lidler that she had been spying on him. 

The couple with their two daughters, Mallory and Macy, who have been supporting their father

The couple with their two daughters, Mallory and Macy, who have been supporting their father 

Earlier this month the court heard that Morphew told a friend that his wife had slept with a ‘man in a basement’ and that he wanted to find the lover, ‘shoot his balls off’ and ‘shove them down his throat’, months before he was arrested for her murder.   

Barry was charged in June despite the fact Suzanne’s body has never been found. She vanished last May, after going for a bicycle ride, according to Barry.  

FBI agent Ken Harris told the court that he interviewed one of Barry’s friends, a woman named Holly Wilson, and that he told Holly described a conversation she’d had with Barry in November 2020, eight months before his arrest. 

Morphew - who owned multiple firearms - told a friend he would 'shoot his wife's lover's balls off' and 'shove them down his throat' when he found out about their affair

Morphew – who owned multiple firearms – told a friend he would ‘shoot his wife’s lover’s balls off’ and ‘shove them down his throat’ when he found out about their affair 

‘Agent Harris is being asked about Holly Wilson and a conversation she had with #BarryMorphew. Barry was accusing #SuzanneMorphew of sleeping with a man in a basement in November.

‘He allegedly told Holly, ‘If I find him, I will shoot off his balls, and shove them down his throat,” Fox 21 reporter Lauren Scharf tweeted from court. 

Two days before she vanished, Suzanne texted her sister to describe Barry as ‘abusive and abrasive’. 

Barry also deleted his search history after visiting notorious dating website Ashley Madison, and a celebrity pornography website called Celebrity Jihad.  

Barry, 53, stands accused of first-degree murder, evidence tampering and other charges in connection with the disappearance of his 49-year-old wife, who had been romantically involved with her former high school friend Libler for two years and talked about moving with him to Ecuador. 

Sheriffs found out about the affair when they were looking into Suzanne’s disappearance in November last year, but it’s unclear how.

They then went to Libler and asked him about the affair and he asked if he was a target in the investigation. 

The affair began in 2018 when Suzanne, seemingly out of the blue, contacted Jeff saying: ‘Howdy stranger.’  

The first time they met up was in New Orleans, where investigators said they ‘fooled around’ but did not have sex. 

The relationship turned physical in 2019. As the pair communicated more over text, Barry became suspicious so they started speaking through LinkedIn messages. 

In December 2019, Libler told her that Ecuador was a cheap place to live, and had good healthcare.  

Her internet search records show her looking for language schools in the Latin American country.   

Alexandria-Monroe High School 1987 yearbook reveals Suzanne Morphew was classmates with Jeff Libler - the same man she is reported to have had a two-year affair with before she vanished on Mother's Day 2020

Alexandria-Monroe High School 1987 yearbook reveals Suzanne Morphew was classmates with Jeff Libler – the same man she is reported to have had a two-year affair with before she vanished on Mother’s Day 2020

Suzanne and Jeff were in the same grade, while her husband Barry Morphew was two years ahead

Suzanne and Jeff were in the same grade, while her husband Barry Morphew was two years ahead

In recent messages, they had discussed going biking together and Suzanne told Libler she was in love with him. 

She also said that she wanted to marry him but couldn’t because of religious reasons.   

On May 8 he texted her: ‘You look good in biking gear babe. You need to be my wife.’ 

On the morning of May 9 she texted him: ‘We need to be husband & wife.’

Later that day, he texted her that ‘my gang is my home’. There were no texts after that. 

Friends of the missing mother-of-two testified that she’d confided in them about how strained her marriage to Barry was. 

Sheila Oliver said Suzanne wanted to leave him.

Suzanne would tell Barry that she was having a ‘girls’ weekend’ with Oliver, but then go and meet Libler. 

The court was shown text messages between Oliver and Suzanne, which included Suzanne referring to Barry as ‘Jekyll and Hyde’. 

‘It’s Jekyll and Hyde again. He and Mal were together last night. Prob switching it on when he talks with her. Ugh. I feel like I’m crazy. I just had a conversation with him. Pretty much told him I can’t be healthy and stay in this,’ she said. 

'Barry wasn't having an affair. Suzanne was having an affair for two years,' Chaffee County Sheriff's Commander Alex Walker said

‘Barry wasn’t having an affair. Suzanne was having an affair for two years,’ Chaffee County Sheriff’s Commander Alex Walker said

When they argued, she complained Barry would use Biblical scriptures whenever it suited him to guilt-trip her into forgiving him. 

Sheila also described incidents of domestic violence that included Barry smacking Suzanne into a wall and holding a gun to her head. 

Another report described how he’d once held a gun to his own head in an apparent suicide threat. 

One piece of evidence that was mentioned was a spy pen which had previously been vaguely referred to in documents. 

The spy pen belonged to Suzanne and Chaffee County Sheriff’s Commander Alex Walker said she had it because she suspected Barry of having an affair.  

‘Barry wasn’t having an affair. Suzanne was having an affair for two years,’ Walker told the court.

SIX MOST DAMNING PIECES OF EVIDENCE AGAINST BARRY MORPHEW  

In the multiple days of preliminary hearings, authorities have been presenting evidence in against Barry Morphew that they say points towards the murder of his wife Suzanne. 

Barry’s defense lawyer Dru Nielsen has argued that the case should be thrown out as he questions police’s timeline of events. 

Investigator Johnny Grusing was grilled by Morphew’s defense team over his timeline and whether they had photographic evidence of Barry disposing of trash as he drove to Broomfield, Colorado, for what he claimed was an urgent job on May 10. 

Among the most damning evidence is:

 Scratches to Barry’s hands and upper arms 

  • Undersheriff Andy Rohrich told how Barry was interviewed and photographed on May 13 – three days after Suzanne vanished. The photos show barely-healed cuts to both Barry’s arms and what Rohrich described as ‘fingernail marks’ to his upper left arm.

Tranquilizer dart found in the dryer

  • An empty tranquilizer dart was found in the dryer, along with a pair of khaki shorts. Barry was caught on security footage in khaki shorts on May 9. He claimed he has the darts to tranquilize deer in order to cut off their horns. But Rohrich said no cut horns were found in the home.  

Bullet by the bed 

  • Rohrich testified that a .22 caliber round was found on the floor of Suzanne Morphew’s bedroom next to her side of the bed. Barry owns a .22 caliber pistol which he says he uses to shoot chipmunks 

Missing 15 minutes 

  • On the morning of May 10, data from Barry’s truck shows the door was opened seven times between 3.25am and 3.49am. At 5am, the truck left the Morphew home and was picked up on camera in Poncha Springs at 5.14am as he drove to Broomfield for a job. But Barry admitted in an interview that he first made a detour that took him close to the remote Garfield Mine after allegedly seeing a herd of elk. Police believe he was doing something else. 

Debris in the fireplace 

  • Police said they found the remnants of a piece of lacquered wood in the fireplace at the Morphew home – despite a stack of firewood nearby. Also found in the fireplace were the remains of burned documents and books. Police had been told Suzanne always kept a bible and her journal by her bed. They found the Bible but didn’t find the journal. 

Trash runs

  • Barry was repeatedly caught stopping as he made his way to Broomfield to dispose of trash, including at a McDonalds and at a dumpster outside a Men’s Wearhouse where he purchased a new outfit. He had claimed to be tidying his truck. But when he arrived back at the Morphew home on May 10, police said his truck was still filled with clutter and bits of trash, and showed photos to prove it. 



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