Prosecutors Dismiss Murder Charges Against Husband of Missing Colorado Woman
A judge has approved the prosecution's request to dismiss the charges against Barry Morphew, FOX31 reports.
Barry Morphew is the husband of missing Colorado woman Suzanne Morphew, who disappeared from her Chaffee County home on May 10, 2020. Law enforcement charged Barry with Suzanne's murder — as well as tampering with a deceased human body, tampering with physical evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant — in May of 2021.
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Barry's trial was set to begin later this month, until Tuesday (April 19), when Linda Stanley, the District Attorney for the 11th Judicial District, filed to dismiss the charges without prejudice, which the filing says is "a discharge without an acquittal and is not a bar to a subsequent prosecution for the same crimes."
The filing states that the reasoning for the dismissal is law enforcement's belief that they are close to locating Suzanne Morphew's body. Police have long presumed her dead but have been unable to recover her remains.
The People were hopeful that the search for, and the discovery of, the victim's body would be concluded well before trial, but weather has complicated the efforts. Specifically, the area law enforcement has been focused on is in a remote and mountainous region nearby the Morphew residence. This area has received a significant amount of snow over the winter months before a search could be completed. To date, the area has 5 feet of snow concealing the location where the People believe Ms. Morphew is located. As a result, the People cannot safely excavate this area and resolve this unasnswered question.
The filing noted that without Suzanne's body, the trial did not have "a reasonable likelihood of success," stating that the discovery of the remains could potentially determine Barry's innocence or guilt.
According to the filing, Suzanne's family agreed with the prosecution's dismissal, with Suzanne's sister, Melinda Moorman-Baumunk, voicing that she wishes to know "whether or not her sister is dead, prior to further prosecution."
While the prosecution did not consult the Morphews' daughters, Macy and Mallory, 9News reporter Marc Sallinger shared a video of them leaving the courtroom, holding hands with their father, Barry.
Per Sallinger, Barry's attorney, Iris Eytan, told the press that Barry loves Suzanne and hopes to find her.
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