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Authorities are “confident” in the case against Barry Morphew for the murder of his wife Suzanne even though her body has never been found.
The Chafee County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that Barry Morphew, 53, was been charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and attempt to influence a public servant in connection with the disappearance of Suzanne, who mysteriously vanished during Mother’s Day weekend last year.
“Today is a good day for Suzanne,” District Attorney Linda Stanley said during a press conference to announce the charges according to local station KCNC-TV. “As far as I’m concerned this day is all about Suzanne, and her family, and those who loved and cared for her.”
Stanley declined to release any details about what led to Barry’s arrest but said that she was “confident” in the case against the him, The Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
He was taken into custody without incident Thursday morning not far from his home, authorities said.
Suzanne was reported missing May 10 after the couple’s daughters—who had been on a camping trip—became concerned they couldn’t reach her and asked a neighbor to check on her.
Authorities discovered the 49-year-old’s bike in a ravine later that night, sparking a massive search for the missing mom.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with other investigative partners including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI), FBI, and dozens of other local law enforcement agencies, spent “thousands of hours” searching for Suzanne, executing more than 135 search warrants and interviewing more than 400 people in the case in the nearly year-long investigation that followed, authorities said.
Authorities investigated more than 1,400 tips before making the arrest Thursday.
“Today is not the day for celebration, nor does it mark the end of this investigation. Rather it’s a next step in this very difficult but very important journey as we seek justice for Suzanne and her family,” Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze said during the news conference, according to the local paper.
Investigators have remained close lipped about many of the details of the case and the arrest warrant has been sealed, providing few clues as to what led authorities to arrest Barry.
“We do have information that led us to this point today and how we think a certain scenario had occurred,” Stanley said.
The landscaper publicly pleaded for his wife’s safe return in a video message May 17.
“Oh Suzanne, if anyone is out there that can hear this, that has you, please, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back,” he said, according to KCNC-TV. “We love you. We miss you. The girls need you. No questions asked. However much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back.”
Barry, who had been married to his wife for 26 years, told investigators he had been working on a landscaping job in Denver the day his wife vanished.
He is currently being held without bond at the Chaffee County Detention Facility.
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