In a tale that has gripped the nation, the threads of Suzanne Morphew's disappearance and murder case continue to unravel in unexpected directions.
With charges against her husband dropped, the discovery of Suzanne's remains, and allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against the district attorney, the case is far from a closed book.
Suzanne Morphew, a mother of two, went missing on Mother's Day 2020 after setting out for a bike ride near her Colorado home. Her bicycle was discovered in a ravine along Highway 50 and County Road 225 in Chaffee County, near her family's Maysville residence, on the day she vanished. At the time, Barry Morphew, Suzanne's husband, claimed to be in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver.
It was in 2021 that Barry Morphew found himself charged with the murder of his wife. However, in a surprising turn of events, the charges were dismissed in April 2022. Prosecutors stated they required more time to locate Suzanne's body and gather additional evidence.
Suzanne's remains were eventually discovered in September 2022, found in a shallow grave about 45 miles south of Maysville. The Morphew family's attorney, Iris Eytan, expressed their frustration and sorrow at the lack of information shared about Suzanne's cause of death and the ongoing investigation.
Amid these developments, District Attorney Linda Stanley, who initially charged Barry, is currently under investigation for prosecutorial misconduct. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC) filed a complaint against Stanley on October 30, 2023. The complaint alleges multiple instances of prosecutorial misconduct, including the late sharing of discovery, such as DNA-match evidence, with the defense.
Stanley was also alleged to have communicated with Mike King, the host of a true-crime YouTube channel, and Julez Wolf, another true-crime show host. She is accused of providing them with insider information about the case. DNA evidence found on Suzanne's glove box, which matched profiles developed in sexual assault cases in Chicago, Phoenix, and Tempe, Arizona, was among the information Stanley was alleged to have withheld from the defense.
Barry Morphew's legal team, in response, filed a $15 million lawsuit against the prosecutors and investigators earlier this year, accusing them of violating Morphew's constitutional rights. Eytan, speaking on behalf of Barry Morphew, detailed the extent of the scrutiny Barry had been subjected to during the investigation.
Attorney Iris Eytan, representing the Morphew family, shared her clients' distress in a statement:
"At this time, the Morphews are extremely discouraged and saddened as it has been two months [since Suzanne's remains were recovered] and they have not received any victim notification about the manner and cause of their mother and wife’s death, nor any general information regarding the death investigation."
In a July interview, Stanley defended her office and its experienced prosecutors against the allegations, expressing pride in their work. Eytan also urged the focus of the investigation to shift from Barry Morphew to the broader issue of missing persons and recovered human remains in Saguache County.
Reflecting on the Suzanne Morphew case, it's clear that the story has been marked by numerous twists and turns: