Murder suspect Barry Morphew grinned for the cameras as he walked out of jail on Monday, with a daughter on each arm, after posting $500,000 bail.
Barry, who is suspected of killing his wife Suzanne who has been missing since Mother’s Day 2020, looked disheveled but happy as he walked to his car after leaving the Chaffee County Probation Department.
He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor ahead of his trial for murder and evidence tampering, which is scheduled for May 2022. He will also be required to live in and largely remain in Chaffee County and will be barred from contacting a number of people involved in the case. However, he is still permitted to be in contact with his and Suzanne’s two daughters Mallory and Macy.
Barry’s release comes as Colorado cops released a photo of Suzanne’s abandoned bike on Monday. The 49-year-old, whose body has never been found, was last seen heading out for a bike ride on her bicycle on May 10, 2020.
Police also published details of notes Suzanne kept on her phone about her husband Barry’s ‘abuse’, in a 130-page affidavit released today.
New details in the case against Barry include secretly recorded notes and recordings documenting his abuse and a text Suzanne sent him four days before she went missing saying she was ‘done, let’s handle this civilly,’ as revealed in a 130-page affidavit police released today.
Murder suspect Barry Morphew grinned for the cameras as he walked out of jail after posting $500,000 bail with his daughters Macy (left) and Mallory
Barry, who is suspected of killing his wife Suzanne who has been missing since Mother’s Day 2020, looked disheveled but happy, with a daughter on each arm, as he walked to his car after leaving the Chaffee County Probation Department
Barry almost walks into the camera as he approaches his car. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor ahead of his trial for murder and evidence tampering, which is scheduled for May 2022
Police found Suzanne’s bike on the side of a hill the same day as her disappearance, but saw ‘no indications of a crash.’ Barry is pictured above (left) after his May 5 arrest and Suzanne is pictured right
Police released a photo of missing mom Suzanne Morphew’s abandoned bike. She went missing on Mother’s Day 2020 and still hasn’t been found
Barry allegedly lied to investigators that their marriage was ‘perfect’ and she had not expressed any intention of leaving him. Meanwhile, Suzanne had been having a two-year fling with married Indiana dad-of-six Jeff Libler.
‘Barry’s statements about his actions on the days before and after Suzanne’s disappearance have been proven to be false and misleading by this investigation,’ the affidavit reads. ‘Barry knowingly destroyed evidence that his relationship with Suzanne was deteriorating and that he was involved in her disappearance and homicide.’
Police found Suzanne’s bike on the side of a hill the same day as her disappearance, but saw ‘no indications of a crash’ such as damage to the bike or skid marks from attempted breaking. Officers noted that it looked like the bike was purposefully set up where they found it.
Barry 53, was in court in Salida, Colorado, on Friday to hear closing arguments from the prosecution who said Suzanne’s ‘road to being murdered’ began when she told him she wanted a divorce days before she vanished and described it as ‘a domestic violence homicide’.
A judge ruled there is enough evidence for the case to proceed nearly a year after his wife was reported missing after going for a bike ride on Mother’s Day 2020.
Morphew has consistently denied the allegations and, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Johnny Grusing, appeared shocked when he was arrested on May 5
Four days before she went missing, Suzanne wrote in a text to Barry, ‘I’m done. I could care less what you’re up to and have been up to for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.’
The day she went missing, investigators also noted that the cutting blade on the bucket of Barry’s Bobcat loading machine were newly replaced.
One of the couple’s daughters, who was not named specifically, told police that her parents were ‘not doing well,’ argued a lot and she thought it best for parents to separate because they were both in an ‘unsafe place’ emotionally.
Police interviewed Suzanne’s sister Melinda Baumunk, who revealed a text Suzanne sent her two days before her disappearance that read, ‘It’s hard dealing with the harsh abrasiveness and having to show respect. He’s been so abusive, emotionally and physically. There’s so much… I went thru a period of acceptance and I feel more angry now. Anger at what I’ve allowed.’
Baumunk told police that this was the first time she was hearing that Barry was physically abusive and when she heard of Suzanne’s disappearance three days later, she said ‘damn it, damn it damn it’ to herself because she was certain that Barry had killed her.
Baumunk added that Suzanne had inherited about $208,000 from their mother Adrienne, when she died in 2013, and another $217,000 from her grandmother-in-law Helen Burnette, who died in 2017.
Cadaver dogs are brought back to the scene where Chaffee County Sheriff’s officers, FBI and CBI were searching for Suzanne Morphew in May 2020
Suzanne’s phone included a list of shorthand notes detailing the abuse she alluded to in her texts to Baumunk. The notes include, ‘Stalking Sheila and me in house without telling,’ ‘Chased me around resort and threatened,’ ‘Not safe alone with you. Can’t be trusted,’ ‘Oppressive,’ ‘Slam on breaks when angry,’ ‘Threaten to jump out of car’ and ‘Gun.’
Morphew sat impassively through the closing arguments Friday and barely reacted when Judge Patrick Murphy announced his decision, telling court that he did see ‘probable cause’ for both first degree murder charges and a trial.
Murphy said Morphew might have had motivation to murder his wife, but the judge also noted that probable cause is the lowest standard of proof in the criminal justice system.
‘Is it possible Mr. Morphew would be convicted? Yes,’ the judge said. ‘Is it fairly likely he would be convicted? … This case could go either way in front of a jury.’
He outlined three possible scenarios: Barry Morphew killed his wife, someone else killed her or she disappeared on her own.
Judge Murphy also emphasized texts from Suzanne saying she felt ‘unsafe’ with Morphew and said his discovery of her affair amounted to a credible motive for murder.
He also said the court ‘can confirm’ that Morphew disposed of his wife’s bike helmet – which was found close to the Garfield Mine – and questioned why he drove 150 miles that Sunday morning for a job that couldn’t begin until the following day.
Morphew, who was wearing a light gray suit and cowboy boots for the hearing, will now be processed for release until the trial begins which has been scheduled to begin next May lasting for about one month.
The decision to set bond was opposed by the prosecution who asked for it to be $10m cash only – citing his lack of ties to Colorado and cash assets of approximately $3m following the sale of his Salida home and business.
In this still image from video, Barry Morphew, center, appears in court in Salida, Colorado earlier in the year
Morphew (pictured in court last May) will be released on Monday but will have to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of his release and will be forced to stay in Chaffee county
Judge Murphy eventually decided to set bond at $500,000 cash and agreed to the prosecution’s request for him to be monitored by the police and to be forced to surrender his guns.
He denied the defense’s request for Morphew to be allowed to live in Gunnison while he awaits trial and banned him from contacting any of the witnesses.
Morphew will now be released on Monday but will have to wear an ankle monitor as a condition of his release and will be forced to stay in Chaffee County as well as being made to attend every hearing in person.
Mom-of-two Suzanne, 49, disappeared on Mother’s Day 2020 and was reported missing when daughters Mallory, 21, and Macy, 17, were unable to get hold of her.
Barry Morphew posted a video on social media tearfully pleading for his wife’s safe return soon after she vanished. He was arrested May 5, 2021, amid what authorities described as an extensive and ongoing investigation that involved dozens of searches in Colorado and interviews of more than 400 people in multiple states.
Suzanne Morphew´s body has not been found.
Pictured, Garfield mine near Morphew’s home where it is believed that Barry dumped evidence
Barry’s mother Shirley, 75, was seen wiping away tears as she left court with her granddaughters (foreground) and another woman on the last day of preliminary hearings last month
Barry Morphew also is charged with tampering with a human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempting to influence a public servant.
He also faces one count of t voter fraud, after he cast a ballot for President Trump in his wife’s name during last year’s election.
Prosecutors told the court that they believe Morphew killed his wife on the night of May 9 and could have disposed of her body at the remote Garfield Mine, 12 miles from Salida.
Exclusive DailyMail.com photos show the pitted remains of the former lead mine which sits 10,000ft above sea level and still retains a set of crumbling wooden buildings.
In police interviews, Morphew admitted driving close to the turn-off to the mine in the early hours of May 10 – but claimed he had done so because he had spotted a bull elk.
Barry and Suzanne’s adult daughters Mallory (left) and Macy (right) – who reported their mother missing on Mother’s Day 2020 – are seen leaving the court for a lunch break August 23
The decision to send Morphew to trial came after a four-day preliminary hearing in August that shattered the portrait he had painted of a happy, problem-free marriage. Morphew has not yet been asked to enter a plea.
Police revealed in court that Suzanne had been having a two-year fling with married Indiana dad-of-six Jeff Libler, while Morphew had accessed porn website Celebrity Jihad and extramarital dating site Ashley Madison.
Prosecutors also presented text messages between her and a friend from 2019 and 2020 in which she complained that her husband was picking fights and putting their children in the middle.
Cops said the pair had been fighting for years, with Morphew accusing his wife of being a habitual drunk and a drug addict who bought cannabis from street dealers.
But they also said he was desperately fighting to save his marriage but to no avail with Suzanne texting him on May 8 to say – ‘I’m done’.
That evening, Suzanne had a pizza from Moonlight Pizza and Brew Pub, telling her lover Lidler that she had enjoyed herself.
The following morning, Suzanne and Morphew had discussed going hiking but she spent most of the morning sending photos to Libler while he worked.
Morphew returned home at 2.40pm – at 2.47pm, his phone was put in airplane mode where it stayed until 10.17pm that evening.
Suzanne sent a final message to Libler just after 2.30pm and made one last call. The phone was not used again.
Police and prosecutors say it was that afternoon that Suzanne was killed, with witnesses revealing Morphew had a dart gun that investigators said was the murder weapon.
Agent Johnny Grusing of the CBI told the court that the animal tranquilizer it contained would have knocked Suzanne out in around 10 minutes and then caused breathing difficulties and hypoxia.
Barry appeared in court for the first time in May after he was arrested on charges of murdering his wife Suzanne, whose body has still not been found after she vanished last year
Grusing said the heavy breathing caused by the drug would have sounded like snoring – Morphew repeatedly told investigators that the last sound he heard from his wife was ‘light snoring’.
On the morning of May 10, data from Morphew’s white truck shows the door was opened seven times between 3.25am and 3.49am.
At 5am, the truck left the Morphew home and drove close to the Garfield Mine before being picked up on camera in nearby Poncha Springs at 5.14am.
Morphew then drove to Broomfield, near Denver, for a landscaping job but truck data showed he stopped several times and he was picked up on camera dumping trash in dumpsters along the way – including at a McDonalds and at a Men’s Wearhouse.
He then headed to a Holiday Inn in Broomfield, where he left the room reeking of chlorine and littered with wet towels according to co-workers Morgan Gentile and Jeff Puckett.
The couple with their two daughters, Mallory and Macy, who have been supporting their father
Puckett told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview last September that he had also found ripped up insurance documents stuffed in the trash can.
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
In police interviews, Gentile said the job – which Morphew claimed was urgent – was scheduled for the following day and that he had been due to pick her up to drive to Denver at 5.30pm on May 10.
Instead, she received a call at 11am telling her he was already there and to drive herself up, and to bring an extra worker.
By the time Gentile and Puckett arrived, Morphew had already left citing a family emergency.
The next morning, she received another call from Morphew at 7.30am in which he said Suzanne had vanished and suggested a mountain lion could be to blame.
Undersheriff Rohrich described the video Morphew made pleading for his wife’s safe return as ‘crocodile tears’.
He told the court: ‘I thought of it like crocodile tears. He acted like he was crying but no tears.’
When police searched the home, they found it ‘perfectly clean’ but found a live .22 caliber bullet lying on the floor next to Suzanne’s side of the bed in the master bedroom.
They also discovered the charred remains of ring binders and a lacquered piece of wood in the fireplace – despite firewood placed nearby – and discovered an empty tranquilizer casing in the dryer, along with a pair of Morphew’s khaki shorts.
Police also revealed that the door of the master bedroom bore marks consistent with being forced open, while Morphew himself was found with scratches to both hands and his upper left arm.
EXCLUSIVE: A bullet in the bedroom, tranquilizer dart in the dryer and fingernail marks on his arm: The 10 most damning pieces of evidence investigators believe will nail Barry Morphew for the murder of his wife
In the multiple days of dramatic preliminary hearings, authorities have presented a mountain of evidence against Barry Morphew, evidence the believe is convincing enough to prove he murdered his missing wife Suzanne.
Scratches on his hands and arms, a bullet found in the couple’s home and a tranquilizer dart located in the dryer are among the most damning pieces of evidence against the Colorado husband and father-of-two.
Barry, 53, stands accused of first-degree murder, evidence tampering and other charges in connection with the disappearance of his 49-year-old wife, whose body has never been found. According to Barry, Suzanne – who was having a two-year affair with married dad-of-six Jeff Libler – disappeared last May after going for a bike ride.
Barry’s defense lawyer Dru Nielsen has questioned police’s timeline of events leading up to the disappearance as he argues that the case should be thrown out before it goes to a full-scale murder trial.
But investigators have revealed holes in Barry’s story that they say prove he murdered his wife.
Here are the 10 most damning pieces of evidence so far:
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 of the home, 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.
Rohrich also spoke of cracks in the door of the master suite at the Morphew home where Suzanne and Barry slept.
He said he spoke to the former owners who said there was no damage to the door when he sold the Morphews the home.
Rohrich said based on his police experience, the door appeared to have been battered down.
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.
On the morning of May 10, data from Barry’s truck (pictured) shows the door was opened seven times between 3.25am and 3.49am
Barry has said he followed the elk because he was hoping to see where they stopped so he could collect fallen horns.
But police said deer don’t shed their horns in May and that it would have been pitch black at 5am that day.
Police also disputed his story about using his tranquilizer to stun a deer in April to cut the horns off.
No cut horns were found in the Morphew home – and Rohrich pointed out that deer don’t grow horns until much later in the year.
Barry admitted to deleting texts on his phone between him and Suzanne on May 21 – after the police investigation had begun.
Agent Johnny Grusing told court that he claimed to have done so to avoid hurting daughters Mallory and Macy.
One of the texts he deleted was unearthed in July 2020 and read ‘I’m done’.
Police confronted him with the text and he claimed she wouldn’t have left because she loved her family too much.
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.
Undersheriff Andy Rohrich spoke of cracks in the door of the master suite at the Morphew home where Suzanne and Barry slept. Rohrich said based on his police experience, the door appeared to have been battered down
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.
Stinking hotel room
Barry had a job in Broomfield, Colorado, on May 11 and was due to collect employee Morgan Gentile at 5.30pm on May 10.
But instead, he suddenly decided to go on May 10 – arriving in Broomfield early that morning.
According to Gentile and co-worker Jeff Puckett, he left the room reeking of chlorine and littered with wet towels.