Investigator: Morphew had ‘crocodile tears’ when he first saw missing wife’s bike

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SALIDA, Colo. (KDVR) — After a two week break, prosecutors continue to make their argument that there is enough evidence to hold a trial for Barry Morphew, accused of killing his wife Suzanne Morphew.

Suzanne went missing on Mother’s Day last year. She is presumed dead and her body has still not been found.

Monday, court resumed where it left off, as the defense got its opportunity to question former Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent John Grusing, who outlined in detail Morphew’s location based off iPhone and truck data the day Suzanne went missing.

Morphew was seen on surveillance throwing trash away in the Broomfield area at several different locations May 10, 2020, the same day Suzanne was first reported missing.

“I am a tightwad and I don’t want to pay for trash pick up,” Morphew told investigators. “I work so much where my truck becomes a trash truck.”

Investigators said they could not get everything off of Morphew’s phone between May 5 and May 9. Some items were deleted, and Grusing said it is possible that Morphew was tracking Suzanne.

Derek Graham has worked for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for two years, after a 34-year stint at the Colorado Springs Police Department.

When reviewing pictures of Suzanne’s bicycle helmet, Graham said there is no indication of a crash. Investigators found DNA evidence from the helmet, but Morphew’s DNA was excluded.

When searching the Morphew home, investigators took sheets from a dryer around May 11 to 15. Investigators later found a syringe for a tranquilizer dart on May 19.

Chaffee County Undersheriff Andy Rohrich has been working in his role for three years, and has been a law enforcement officer for 23 years. Rohrich got called to the Morphew home around 8:52 p.m. on May 10, 2020.

Upon reviewing photos from the scene, Rohrich noted in court that Suzanne would need her identification to get anywhere in the country or out of the country. She left her purse in her range rover. Rohrich also pointed out Suzanne’s medical card would be needed for her scheduled treatment for cancer on May 10. That card was also left in her purse.

Morphew’s defense later refuted this point, saying when people disappear, they don’t always use their identification.

Rohrich said the door frame of the master bedroom in the Morphew home looked like there had been a forced entry from outside the room. There was a .22 caliber unspent shell found on Suzanne’s bedside.

Investigators described pieces of material found in the Morphew home’s fireplace, that could have been Suzanne’s journal.

Photos of apparent injuries on Morphew’s body were shown in court Monday, including what appear to be fingernail injuries to his upper left arm, according to Rohrich. Morphew had three cuts that were scabbing over. Outside of his hands were injuries in various stages of healing.

Suzanne sent a photo of herself sunbathing to Jeff Libler on May 9 just after 2 p.m. Investigators say Suzanne and Libler were having an affair for roughly two years. According to the defense, there was no blood or tears on the bikini, which was found in the master closet and collected as evidence. Investigators never found the brown towel she was sunbathing on.

Undersheriff Rohrich said Morphew had “crocodile tears, like fake tears,” when he first arrived at the scene of Suzanne’s bike.

CBI Agent Kevin Coback was a field agent in Pueblo for seven years, and was questioned about Morphew’s employees.

Morphew was supposed to pick up an employee, Morgan Gentile, on Sunday night at 5:30 p.m. but didn’t. He called her around 11:00 a.m. and asked her to bring another worker to Broomfield.

At the Broomfield Holiday Inn, Gentile stayed in room 228 and Jeff Puckett stayed in room 225, the room Morphew stayed in.

Gentile told investigators there was an overwhelming smell in room 225 at the hotel, and saw wet towels on the floor in the bathroom.

A little after 6:00 p.m., Morphew called Gentile May 10, saying he needed to return to Salida for a family emergency, but did not mention Suzanne was missing.

Gentile mentioned that Morphew was her first boss, and investigators confirmed the two were not having an affair. According to Coback, Gentile described Morphew as “not an emotional guy,” but recalled Morphew calling Monday morning saying, “My wife is missing. We found the bike, it’s gotta be a mountain lion or cougar.”

Morphew’s phone went on airplane mode from 2:47 p.m. to 10:17 p.m. May 9. The phone appeared to be at the Morphew home from 10:17 p.m. until 3:25 a.m. the following day. On March 5, Morphew told investigators that putting his phone on airplane mode was an accident, if it happened.

Agent Grusing returned to the stand to talk about a potential divorce between Morphew and Suzanne.

Grusing said Morphew would tell Suzanne, “I’m not discussing this, cause it is never going to happen.”

The state notes that Morphew and Suzanne never did get a divorce.

During an April 22 interview with Morphew, agents asked if Morphew was the last person to see Suzanne alive, and Morphew agreed.

Investigators spoke with Colorado Parks and Wildlife experts about the effect of a tranquilizer would have on a woman. According to experts, a human would be in complete sedation within two to three minutes of injection. The woman would likely run, then become wobbly and unstable before dozing off.

Grusing said Morphew mentioned multiple times that “This is in God’s hands. He allowed this whole thing to happen.”

When Morphew was arrested for murder, Grusing sat in the back seat on May 5, 2021. Morphew said, “How could you do this to me? I trusted you.”

Court will resume on Tuesday, and this story will be updated with more details when court is back in session.

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