The sister of Suzanne Morphew, the Colorado mom who went missing last Mother’s Day, says financial issues may have caused tension between her and her husband, Barry Morphew, who is now charged with murder.
“Financial pressure bears in on people very heavily. It creates an atmosphere of discontent and strife and sometimes living beyond your means is a very hard thing to do,” Morphew sister, Melinda Moorman, told CBS4. “Learning to be content with what you have is a very powerful thing in this life, and it brings great peace, and I don’t think Barry and Suzanne had gotten there yet,”
Morphew’s husband, 53-year-old Barry Morphew, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder and other charges in his wife’s presumed death. His arrest came as the result of an ongoing investigation that has so far involved over 135 searches across Colorado and the interviews of over 400 people in multiple states, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said.
Suzanne’s body has not been found, and an arrest affidavit outlining the evidence leading investigators to believe he is responsible for his wife’s death has been sealed, District Attorney Linda Stanley said.
Barry Morphew and his wife, Suzanne.
Suzanne Morphew, the mother of two daughters, disappeared on May 10, 2020, Mothers’ Day, in the Salida area of Colorado. A few days later, investigators found an item possibly belonging to the 49-year-old woman, but several searches that included waterways did not turn up a body.
Although difficult, Moorman credited her faith with helping her forgive Barry and dealing emotional toll her sister’s disappearance has taken on the family.
Barry Morphew’s May 6, 2021 booking photo (Chaffee County Sheriff)
(Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office)
Even though it’s been just one year since Morphew’s disappearance, Mooman has already begun to make peace with what happened.
“I have had many conversations with God about Barry Morphew starting last year when this happened and I am a woman who believes in great forgiveness,” Moorman said. “Barry has a faith, a very fundamental faith but I don’t believe my brother-in-law has ever experienced the grace and the mercy and the gentleness of Jesus Christ, and I pray that he will be afforded that beauty in his life and find redemption and forgiveness.”
Moorman told KXRM-TV in Colorado Springs on Wednesday she was relieved to hear about Barry’s arrest.
“Today, justice is beginning for my sister,” she said. “It’s been a journey that no one ever imagines that they’ll take.”
She added that she still loves her brother-in-law, “though he’s done a terrible thing.”
Barry made his first appearance in court Thursday to be advised of the charges he could face, including first-degree crime.
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Prosecutors said they did not object to Morphew, who is being held in the nearby jail, from being able to have contact with his two daughters as long as it was civil. Murphy allowed the contact but ordered that it could not be harassing.
Murphy gave prosecutors 10 days to file charges against Morphew. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 27.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.