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Investigators Allege Barry Morphew ‘Hunted And Controlled’ His Wife Like An Animal
“…Suzanne began to take her steps to leave Barry while Barry took steps to control her, incapacitate her, stage a crime scene and create his alibi for her disappearance,” authorities wrote of the final days before Suzanne Morphew disappeared.
Colorado investigators say that Barry Morphew “hunted and controlled” his wife Suzanne like an animal after he determined that he wouldn’t be able to stop her from leaving him, according to new court documents released in the case.
A judge released a 129-page arrest affidavit against Barry—who has been accused of killing his wife Suzanne—on Monday after ruling last week that investigators had gathered enough evidence against him to support the murder charges, CBS News reports.
Barry was captured by local station KCNC-TV walking out of the Chaffee County Detention facility on Monday, with his arms wrapped around the couple’s two daughters, after he posted a $500,000 all cash bond set last week.
As part of his release, he’ll be required to wear an ankle monitor and stay in Chafee County, where the impending case against him is being held.
The newly released affidavit, obtained by Oxygen.com, details a marriage on the verge of collapse, rift with financial struggles, cheating, and accusations of physical and emotional abuse.
Investigators say Suzanne had finally reached her breaking point on May 6, 2020, when she texted Barry saying she was finished with the marriage.
“I’m done,” she wrote, according to the affidavit. “I could care less what you’re up to and have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.”
She was reported missing just four days later.
Investigators believe Barry killed his wife on May 9, 2020 after he discovered her messaging with a man on LinkedIn.
“By around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday May 9, it had become clear that Barry could not control Suzanne’s insistence on leaving him and he resorted to something he has done his entire life—hunt and control Suzanne like he had hunted and controlled animals,” authorities said.
Investigators recovered a needle sheath from a tranquilizer gun in the couple’s dryer that they suspect could have been used to try to subdue the Colorado mom.
Although Barry has maintained that he spent that evening going for a hike and dining with his wife, investigators note that she had no further cell phone activity after 2:30 p.m.
Her last “proof of life” was a selfie, which was included in the affidavit, that she sent to Jeff Lieber through LinkedIn at 2:03 p.m.
Lieber, a Michigan man she had been having an affair with, responded less than an hour later at 2:46 p.m. writing “Hey…your weather looks great,” but Suzanne never responded.
Investigators say in the months leading up to her disappearance, Suzanne had made “clear, articulable steps” to separate from Barry, confiding in friends, secretly writing notes on her phone to document the relationship and using a spy pen to secretly record arguments between the pair.
“…Suzanne began to take her steps to leave Barry while Barry took steps to control her, incapacitate her, stage a crime scene and create his alibi for her disappearance,” authorities wrote.
Barry told investigators that he had left early the morning of May 10, 2020 to go to a job site in Broomfield, but investigators say data they recovered from his vehicle showed him driving out of his way along Highway 50 around 4:30 a.m. near the spot where Suzanne’s bike helmet would later be recovered.
Barry allegedly told investigators he had turned that way because he'd spotted some bull elk.
The helmet was found less than a mile away from Suzanne’s bike. However, the deputy who discovered the bike noted he “started to question if something criminal had occurred as it looked like the bike was purposely thrown” in the location after noting its odd placement and lack of any physical damage.
They also say that while Barry claimed to be at a work site when a concerned neighbor called about his missing wife around 5 p.m., in reality, he had been in a hotel room since 12:40 p.m. and made “very little attempt” to contact his missing wife as he drove home that night.
Investigators alleged that he has “changed critical details about his activities” on the days surrounding his wife’s disappearance to suit his needs.
The affidavit also reveals new details about the confessions Suzanne had made to her closest friends, relatives and daughters about the dissolution of the marriage before she disappeared.
“It’s hard dealing with the harsh abrasiveness and having to show respect. He’s also been abusive, emotionally and physically,” she wrote her sister in a message on May 8, 2020. “There’s so much…I went thru a period of acceptance and I feel more angry now. Anger at what I’ve allowed.”
When her sister found out days later that Suzanne had gone missing, she told investigators she thought “Damn it, damn it, damn it,” because she believed it was likely that Barry had killed her.
She described Suzanne as having been a “submissive housewife” during the marriage, allowing him control the couple’s finances. She said Suzanne long suspected Barry of having numerous affairs and believed she'd agreed to move to Colorado with him in 2018 in an attempt to save the marriage.
Lieber also told investigators the couple’s marriage had been filled with “lots of fights” and was “horrible” for her mental and physical health.
Suzanne’s body has never been found, but investigators believe she is dead after noting no activity on her credit card or social security number since she disappeared.
Barry has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including murder, tampering with a human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempting to influence in a public servant.