Husband accused of murder makes first court appearance

Barry Morphew (Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office)

The husband of a missing Chaffee County woman who is now accused of killing his wife will be allowed to stay in contact with his two daughters, 11th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Murphy ruled Thursday.

Barry Morphew, 53, made his first court appearance Thursday after he was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, who was reported missing on May 10, 2020. Her body has not been found, and her disappearance prompted an extensive search effort and investigation.

He spoke only briefly to answer questions from the judge during a 10-minute hearing in which he was advised of his rights and the crimes he is suspected of committing. Chaffee County prosecutors said that after speaking with Barry Morphew’s daughters, a protection order that allowed for civil contact with Barry Morphew — no threats or harassment — was acceptable.

It was not immediately clear what led authorities to suspect Barry Morphew because an affidavit in the case detailing the evidence against him was sealed. He is also charged with tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public servant.

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