Skip to content

Man Facing Trial For Allegedly Murdering Wife, But New DNA Evidence Is Raising Questions

When it comes to a person, particularly an adult, being murdered, there’s a high degree of probability that the spouse of said individual is the one who perpetrated the crime. Which appears to be the case concerning the disappearance of Suzanne Morphew, but there is some new evidence surfacing that might suggest that her husband, Barry Morphew, may not have been the one to end her life.

Suzanne disappeared sometime around May 9 or 10 of 2020, and has not been seen by anyone since. While her body is yet to be discovered, her husband Barry has been charged with “murder, tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempt to influence a public official,” WTHR said in its report about the case.

“District Court Judge Ramsey Lama of the 11th Judicial District recently ruled that a trial against Barry can move forward despite some evidence that Barry may not be behind Suzanne’s disappearance, Law & Crime reported. While noting the evidence that does suggest Barry may have had something to do with Suzanne’s disappearance, Lama noted that DNA evidence found on Suzanne’s items the day she went missing is a partial match for DNA linked to three unsolved sexual assaults,” the Daily Wire reported.

Here is some of the evidence that seemingly implicates Barry from Lama’s ruling, via the Daily Wire report:

Data on Mr. Morphew’s phone indicated that around the time she went missing, he turned left on Highway 50, west, passing the location of where Mrs. Morphew’s bike helmet was found on the side of the road before ultimately turning around to head to Denver for work. Mr. Morphew said he was following an elk and turned around near Garfield, a small community about 3-4 miles west of where Mrs. Morphew’s bike was found. That and other location data on his phone raised suspicion among investigators.

Yet, as Lama pointed out, “In the summer of 2020, [Colorado Bureau of Investigation] CBI forensic analysis determined foreign unknown male DNA was found on various items of the crime scene: the interior cushion of the bike helmet, Mrs. Morphew’s bike, the glovebox and back seat of Mrs. Morphew’s Range Rover. Mr. Morphew, along with other investigative personnel working the scene, were excluded as the source of the sample.”

Joseph Cahill, a CBI agent, believes the DNA “belonged to suspects who may have perpetrated the crime,” the judge stated.

“[T]he unknown male DNA partially matched DNA found in three out-of-state unsolved sexual assault investigations: Tempe, Phoenix, and Chicago,” Lama went on to say, before going on to add that “due to the limited genetic profile, this was only a lead and further investigation was necessary.”

This DNA profile created tension between the CBI and local sheriff’s office, Lama wrote in his ruling. CBI agents Cahill and Derek Graham didn’t believe Barry should be arrested until further forensic testing was conducted and more evidence was collected.

“They both believed the arrest was premature and raised their concerns with Kirby Lewis, head of the Major Crimes Division of CBI who, in turn, brought those concerns to Deputy Director Chris Schaeffer. Mr. Schaeffer called the Chaffee County Sheriff, John Spezze, and advised against arresting Mr. Morphew at that time. He expressed the concerns of Agents Cahill and Graham. It was the first time in the Deputy Director’s career that he ever called a sheriff about holding off on the decision to arrest an individual. Shortly, thereafter, CBI Director John Camper, called the Sheriff and reiterated the Bureau’s concerns with arresting Barry Morphew,” Lama then went on to write.

However, Alex Walker, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Commander, put out a 129-page affidavit which was in full support of arresting Barry. In this affidavit, Lama wrote, “failed to inform the judge of said DNA and that Barry Morphew was excluded as the source.”

This was due to the fact that Walker didn’t know about the DNA match until 12 whole days after he wrote the affidavit.

Despite this and several other issues, Lama found that the prosecution’s actions did not “amount to willfulness” so Barry will ultimately be tried.

“[T]he Court does not find a reduction of the charges to be an appropriate remedy,” Lama stated in his ruling, according to Law & Crime. “The Court is also mindful that the defense is now in possession of exculpatory information, which cures much of the prejudice.”

This story syndicated with permission from Chad Prather