Remains of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew found in Moffat

The remains of missing mom Suzanne Morphew have been found more than three years after she was last seen, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which says the remains were positively identified on Wednesday.

Morphew was last seen on Mother's Day three years ago, May 10, 2020. Her disappearance made national headlines and the investigation was featured on the CBS News show "48 Hours."

Suzanne Morphew left behind two teenage daughters and a husband, Barry Morphew, who was not only the prime suspect in her disappearance, he was also charged with her murder.

Suzanne Morphew / Credit: Suzanne Morphew/Facebook
Suzanne Morphew / Credit: Suzanne Morphew/Facebook

According to the CBI, the remains were located during the course of a search on Sept. 22 and those remains were positively identified as that of Morphew of Chaffee County by the El Paso County Coroner on Wednesday.

Investigators were searching in the area of Moffat in Saguache County on an investigation not related to the Morphew disappearance when the remains were discovered.

"While this case has garnered attention from around the world, it has touched our community and the sheriff's office deeply," said Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze in a statement. "We have never stopped our investigation and will continue to follow all leads in pursuit of justice for Suzanne."

Suzanne Morphew's family released this statement on Thursday, "The Moorman family would like to thank all involved for the discovery of our sister Suzanne. Over the last three years, countless hours have been spent looking for Suzanne by a determined group who have never given up hope that she would be found. The memories of her gentle spirit and wonderful smile have been a constant presence since her disappearance to all who knew and loved her. We want to thank Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze, his staff, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and the hundreds of volunteers who never gave up. Fate may have played a key role in finding her, but it does not negate the resolute commitment of all those involved. We would also like to thank the citizens of Chaffee County who have been subjected to this unimaginable saga for their support and prayers.

"We look forward to finding long-awaited justice for Suzanne in the successful prosecutions of those involved in her disappearance."

RELATED: Barry Morphew's attorney shares statement following discovery of wife Suzanne Morphew's remains

No arrests have been made since the remains have been located.

"Although locating Suzanne's remains is a critical component of this investigation, and for her family, we are left with many more questions than answers, and it would be a disservice to conduct a news conference at this time," said Spezze in a statement.

The public is asked to continue to report any information about this case by calling (719) 312-7530.

TIMELINE: Suzanne Morphew case: Timeline of events in the death of the Colorado mother

Anne Kelly, the 12th Judicial District Attorney, released this statement on the remains found, "The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has informed me that their agents recovered the remains of Suzanne Morphew in the area surrounding the town of Moffat in Saguache County. Saguache County is located in the 12th Judicial District for which I am the District Attorney. The case is still under active investigation, and for that reason, I am unable to comment on the investigation until more information is known. We will provide updates as soon as more information becomes available to the extent it is appropriate. The 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office expresses our condolences to Suzanne's family."

Earlier this year Barry Morphew filed a lawsuit, asking for $15 million saying he was wrongfully charged in his wife's disappearance and, at the time, presumed death. The lawsuit includes Chaffee County, the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office, and several named investigators in the case including those working for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

Suzanne disappeared after leaving her home for a bike ride on Mother's Day 2020 and what happened next remains a mystery. Her bicycle was found down a steep ravine off Chaffee County Road 225 from Highway 50. Deputies said that the bicycle did not look like it was involved in a crash and there was not any blood at the scene.  After she went missing, Barry Morphew told CBS News Colorado that he believed she was abducted.

During the investigation into her disappearance, friends told detectives that Suzanne and Barry had been arguing about finances and that Suzanne may have had a boyfriend.

Investigators recovered documents from Suzanne's iCloud account as part of evidence. One of those documents was a list Suzanne made on May 8, 2020 entitled "grievances." It included notes like "wedding ring," which Barry allegedly took and melted at some point. She also noted women on Facebook, which Barry told her was good for business, as well as an incident in Mexico where Barry tried to take her phone away and look at it.

On the morning of May 6, 2020, Suzanne sent Barry a firm text that indicated she wanted to end the relationship. The text was found in Barry's cache indicating it had been deleted. It read: "I'm done I could care less what you're up to and have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly."

Barry's reaction involved threats of suicide: "When I'm dead which won't be long, you guys will be taken care of," and "I'm going to see my savior."

On the morning of May 9, 2020, a day before Suzanne was reported missing, 59 communications were exchanged between Suzanne and the man who was apparently her boyfriend.

Barry and Susanne Morphew / Credit: Facebook
Barry and Susanne Morphew / Credit: Facebook

Barry Morphew was arrested May 5, 2021 on charges of murder after deliberation, tampering with physical evidence and attempting to influence a public servant.

The case was afflicted with complications. In December 2021, the judge assigned to preside over the case removed himself after defense attorneys raised questions about a conflict of interest. They had questions about Judge Patrick Murphy because of his relationship with a lawyer handling the case of Barry Morphew's alleged girlfriend who may have been called as a witness in the trial.

In February 2022, the murder trial was moved from Chaffee County to Fremont County. At the time, officials stated, "Because of the size of the community and the pervasive negative pretrial publicity since Suzanne Morphew's disappearance, the Court finds that a fair trial cannot take place in Chaffee County. This is a high-profile case in a relatively small county with a small jury pool. The media saturation is high."

In March 2022, Barry's lawyers asked for a dismissal after they received an internal affairs document surrounding the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Agent In Charge Joe Cahill. In a court filing on March 1, the prosecution says the defense is taking "bits and pieces out of context." In the internal affairs document, Cahill stated "the arrest of the suspect now as the worst decision that could have been made." He went on to say "the arrest of the suspect in this investigation was premature" and called it "hasty."

There were also several hearings regarding what evidence and testimony was going to be allowed in court with multiple motions filed. 

A judge dismissed the case against Barry Morphew in April 2022. At the time, the 11th Judicial District Attorney, Linda Stanley, filed the motion to "dismiss without prejudice" which means that prosecutors could file charges against Barry Morphew at a later date.

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