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Final text messages between Suzanne and Barry Morphew shared in court reveal new details about the couple’s crumbling marriage, including Suzanne’s assertion that the marriage was “done” and a threat from Barry about committing suicide.
“I’m done. I could care less about what you’ve been up to for years,” Suzanne texted Barry on May 6, 2020, according to local station KXRM-TV. “We need to figure this out civilly.”
According to testimony Tuesday in a preliminary hearing, Barry responded by professing his love for his 49-year-old wife and threatening to take his own life.
“I promise you, you are wrong about all the crazy thoughts about me,” he wrote, according to ABC News. “Why would I want another, only a fool would stray from an angel like you. When I’m dead, which won’t be long, you guys will be taken care of.”
He also wrote that he was "going to see my savior."
Her body has never been found, but investigators believe Barry killed his wife and disposed of her. According to testimony from investigators on Tuesday, the day his wife was reported missing, Barry put his phone on airplane mode for hours and made multiple stops at dumpsters while in Broomfield, Colorado for a work job.
Her last communication was on the afternoon of May 9 when she texted a smiling photo of herself sunbathing to Jeff Libler, a Michigan man she had been having an affair with.
Libler, who had once gone to high school with Suzanne, texted back about the weather, but Suzanne never responded.
Authorities believe Barry came home around 2:45 p.m. that day, discovered the messages and killed his wife, according to the news outlet.
Former FBI agent John Grusing testified that authorities discovered a cap from a tranquilizer dart in the couple’s dryer, KXRM-TV reports.
Cell phone data also showed Barry “moving in a pattern around the outside of the house” shortly after he came home, according to KUSA. Grusing testified that Barry explained the activity by saying he had been outside shooting chipmunks on his property at the time. He also put his phone in airplane mode—where it remained for more than seven hours, authorities said.
The next morning, Barry told authorities he left for a job in Broomfield around 5:00 a.m. while his wife was still sleeping, but electronic data captured someone opening and closing the doors of Barry’s truck around 3 a.m., Grusing said.
Barry headed to Broomfield a few hours later for the work trip, but he was captured in surveillance footage making five separate stops at dumpsters.
While in Broomfield, investigators said Barry stopped at trash cans that morning next to a bus stop, near his hotel, at a Men’s Warehouse and at a McDonald’s, according to The Associated Press. He also stopped in the afternoon at a dumpster near his hotel to throw away a full trash bag, a tree planter and camouflage jacket.
Barry later told investigators he didn’t remember what he had thrown away.
Grusing also testified that Google data discovered by investigators showed Barry went to his job for Garrett Construction and did about 15 minutes of work before leaving—although he knew construction work could not legally be completed in the city on a Sunday, Fox News reports.
Suzanne was reported missing that same day by a neighbor after her daughter, who was out of town, became concerned when she didn’t respond to any messages.
Her bike was discovered abandoned along the side of a road just hours later.
The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office has said 70 law enforcement officers have spent thousands of hours searching for the missing mother of two, utilizing drones, aircraft, scuba divers and specially trained dogs, ABC News reports.
Suzanne allegedly believed Barry had been having an affair before she disappeared and even purchased a special spy pen to try to secretly record evidence.
Although she never recorded anything that confirmed her suspicions and investigators found no evidence of an affair, FBI agent Kenneth Harris testified that deleted web history from Barry’s cell phone showed he visited the site “Ashley Madison,” which is known as a dating service for those looking to discretely cheat on their spouse, KXRM-TV reports.
Barry described his wife initially to investigators as his “angel” and said the couple had been together for 32 years.
Suzanne and Libler, a married father of six, had been having an affair for approximately two years when she disappeared. He told authorities he never came forward after her disappearance until they went to interview him because he didn’t want to be “that guy” and was worried about the impact it could have on his family.
The preliminary hearing is expected to resume on Aug. 23.
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