Suzanne Morphew’s brother says he suspected foul play in her disappearance “within hours,” calling the arrest of his brother-in-law Barry Morphew a “key hurtle in unwinding the mystery of this tragedy.”
“While my silence has been interpreted as not caring, within hours of being told of Suzanne’s disappearance nothing seemed to add up,” David Moorman said in a recent statement to KXRM-TV. “My suspicion of foul play quickly grew, especially knowing my brother in law’s personality.”
Moorman said he was committed to letting law enforcement “do their job” and staying out of the way of the investigation until authorities were able to reach a conclusion in the case.
The Chafee County Sheriff’s Office announced last week that Barry Morphew, 53, had been charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and attempt to influence a public servant in the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne, who mysteriously vanished Mother’s Day weekend in 2020.
She was reported missing May 10, 2020 after the couple’s daughters—who had been on a camping trip—became concerned when they couldn’t reach her and asked a neighbor to go over to their home and check on her. Her bike was discovered abandoned in a ravine later that night.
“While the arrest is good news it is only one of the many steps that will be required to bring Suzanne justice and our family and her many friends peace and closure,” Moorman wrote.
He said in the year since his sister disappeared, he has been haunted by questions about how the family has gotten to this point.
“How does a man take the life of his wife and the mother of his daughters?” he said. “How do character flaws turn you into a murderer?”
In the months ahead, Moorman said his family will be “forced to come to grips” with unimaginable details of the murder as the case plays out before the justice system.
“Nothing I say here will change minds and I will leave it to the experts of FBI to outline at the trial the cunning personality traits of Barry Morphew,” he said.
The family is has urged Barry to confess to the slaying and provide authorities with information about the location of Suzanne’s body.
“I doubt that will happen and we all will be left with hearing horrific details that were perpetrated by pure evil,” Moorman said, adding that the family plans to do everything it can to help Suzanne’s daughters, Mallory and Macy, overcome the trauma.
Suzanne’s sister, Melinda Moorman, told local station KCNC-TV last week that she thought the couple may have been having financial troubles.
“I think life happens. I think pressures and stresses in life, I think financial pressure bears in on people very heavily. It creates an atmosphere of discontent and strife and sometimes living beyond your means is a very hard thing to do,” she said. “Learning to be content with what you have is a powerful thing in this life, and it brings great peace, and I don’t think Barry and Suzanne had gotten there yet, and that’s what I think kinda happened and I can’t really say more than that.”
She said the arrest filled her with “great sadness” but that she was also relieved the family was moving closer to finding justice for her sister.
Melinda said she hopes her brother-in-law finds “redemption and forgiveness” in the days ahead.
David Moorman asked those moved by his sister’s story to consider a donation to a domestic violence organization and said the family will continue to honor Suzanne’s spirit.
“Suzanne is never far from our minds, as her gentle nature, smile and unforgettable belly laugh are very much missed,” he said.
Barry, who is currently being held without bail, appeared in court for the first time Thursday as his two daughters looked on and cried as the charges against him were read, KXRM-TV reports. He hasn't yet entered a formal plea.
His next court appearance is scheduled for May 27.