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For two years before Colorado mother Suzanne Morphew disappeared, she had been carrying on an affair with another man, according to surprising new testimony in a preliminary hearing for her husband Barry Morphew, who's accused of killing her.
The testimony throughout the day Monday painted the picture of a marriage on a rocks, with evidence that the couple had argued about money and Suzanne had once confided in a close friend that she wanted a divorce and was afraid to be alone with her husband, according to The Denver Post.
Suzanne, 49, disappeared from the family’s home on Mother’s Day 2020. Although her body has never been found, investigators believe Barry killed the mother of two and then hid or destroyed her body.
“He won’t speak of divorce,” Suzanne wrote in one text message, according to the preliminary hearing. “Begging for another chance. I’m so torn. But (in) my heart I know who he is.”
FBI special agent Kenneth Harris took the stand Monday to reveal new details about a secret affair Suzanne had been having since late 2018 with a married Michigan man who she knew from high school.
The pair had met across the country at least six times over two years for romantic rendezvous. They had also sent naked photos to each other and talked about being soul mates, according to local station KDVR.
Suzanne had reportedly never told anyone about the affair and Barry told investigators he wasn't aware of it.
“He did say at some point he was suspicious of potentially an emotional affair, but not a physical affair,” Harris said. “There are some questions about that.”
While Barry said he had not suspected Suzanne, Commander Alex Walker, of the Chafee County Sheriff’s Office, testified that Suzanne believed Barry have been having an affair of his own and purchased a special spy pen that recorded conversations to investigate.
The pen, however, never captured evidence of any indiscretions on his part, and investigators never found any evidence to suggest Barry had been having an affair at the time of her disappearance, according to the KDVR.
The pen did capture a conversation between Suzanne and her love interest, along with another conversation that appeared to be Barry and Suzanne arguing about money, The Associated Press reports.
Prosecutors also presented text messages between Suzanne and a close friend that chronicled the couple’s troubled marriage. Suzanne complained to her friend that she felt Barry was picking fights with her and often put the couple’s two children in the middle of their disagreements.
“He’s not stable,” she wrote in one message, according to the news outlet. “It’s guilt and desperate measures he’s taking…I can’t win with him. He’s too good at the manipulation. I feel stuck.”
She also talked with the friend about wanting a divorce and said she didn’t feel safe alone with her husband, who she said once pushed her into a closet, held a gun to his head and asked her whether that was what she wanted.
Barry told investigators that the last time he saw his wife was around 5:00 a.m. at the couple’s home on the day she disappeared, May 10, 2020. Barry said that Suzanne was sleeping at the time and he opted not to wake her up, before leaving for a landscaping job in Broomfield.
A few hours later, around 7:30 a.m., Barry told investigators he had texted his wife to tell her happy Mother’s Day, but never heard back and became increasingly concerned as the day wore on, according to the local paper.
Suzanne’s daughter—who had been out of town on a trip—also grew concerned when she hadn’t heard from her mother and asked a neighbor to go check on her. The neighbor later contacted police who discovered Suzanne’s abandoned bicycle that night along Highway 50 and County Road 225, KDVR reports.
Her helmet was found less than a mile away four days later, according to KUSA.
Prosecutors played footage of the deputy discovering the bike in court, noting that there were no skid marks, damage to the bicycle or blood found anywhere nearby.
In another body camera video, Barry can be seen returning to the couple’s Colorado home that evening in tears and hugging those nearby.
He also questioned deputies about the circumstances of his wife’s disappearance, asking whether she had crashed and then suggesting she had been attacked by a mountain lion.
“A lion,” he said with his palms facing up, according to the local paper. “Maybe?”
Walker testified that Barry told investigators he would “help out any way he could” and called his wife his “angel.”
He said the couple had “loved each other to death.”
Barry is facing charges multiple charges including first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body in connection with his wife’s disappearance.
He also facing charges of forgery in a separate case after authorities allege that he returned a mail-in ballot in his wife’s name to cast a vote for Donald Trump months after she had disappeared.
The couple’s two daughters were in court Monday and smiled at their father in the courtroom, according to the Associated Press.
The preliminary hearing is expected to continue Tuesday.
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