2:37 PM PDT, August 12, 2021
Suzanne Morphew, the missing Colorado mother of two, who disappeared after going on a bike ride on Mother’s Day, was allegedly having an extramarital affair with a man she knew from high school that went on for two years before she disappeared, investigators testified in court on Monday.
The stunning revelation was made during the start of a two-day preliminary hearing for the trial of husband Barry Morphew, 53, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 49-year-old wife, according to multiple published reports.
Evidence of the alleged affair was revealed from audio recorded by a “spy pen,” which Suzanne planted inside her husband’s car because she thought he was cheating on her. Instead, the pen recorded Suzanne talking to her lover.
“Your heart, that’s what I crave. I love how you love me…you’re the sweetest thing I’ve ever known,” the recording went.
An FBI agent testified that Barry told a friend, “If I find him, I will shoot off his [blank] and shove them down his throat.”
Suzanne was last seen leaving her family’s home located near Maysville on May 10, 2020. A neighbor reported her missing when she did not return home later that day. Her disappearance prompted a year-long search that included a video plea by her husband and a $100,000 reward for her safe return.
According to multiple published reports, Barry maintained his innocence throughout and shared his theories that his wife may have been killed by a mountain lion or even abducted. Suzanne’s body has never been found, according to a previously reported story in Inside Edition Digital.
On May 5, 2021, almost one year to the day Suzanne went missing, Barry was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence an attempt to influence a public servant, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said, ABC News reported.
In the Chaffee County Courthouse, Barry Morphew’s two grown daughters, Mallory and Macy Morphew held hands, wept. At one point Barry pulled down his masks and mouthed the words “I love you,” according to CBS4 Denver.
Barry Morphew’s mother and sister were also present, a report said.
The alleged affair was one of several pieces of testimony Monday that showed the cracks in Suzanne and Barry’s 25-year-marriage that reportedly became more troublesome in the months before she disappeared. One of their arguments revolved around money, and at one point Suzanne had confided in a close friend about seeking a divorce. According to testimony, Suzanne said she would not feel safe alone with her husband and described a 2018 incident in which Barry Morphew pushed her into a closet and put a gun to his own head, asking if that was what she wanted, The Denver Post reported.
In a text to Shelia, Suzanne referred to Barry as Jekyll & Hyde and wrote, “he [Barry] won’t speak of divorce. Begging for another chance. I’m so torn but in my heart I know who he is,” CBS Denver reported.
County Sheriff Officer Commander Alex Walker testified that Suzanne Morphew had been having an affair with a man named Jeff Libler, an old high school friend from Indiana. Walker said the pair had met up at least six times, twice in Indiana, Fox News reported.
Libler did not contact authorities when Suzanne disappeared, but once officials found out about the affair in November, Walker said Libler was questioned, according to the news outlet.
Various LinkedIn messages from December 2020 revealed the couple had exchanged intimate photos of one another. The pair had also discussed marriage and a new life in Ecuador together once Suzanne left Barry, CBS 4 reported.
Libler, who was also married and the father of six children, told the authorities he got rid of all the correspondence between him them because he didn’t want Suzanne’s legacy to include the affair, according to CBS 4.
Investigators determined that Libler was not a suspect in the case, the news outlet reported.
During the hearing, prosecutors also showed body camera footage taken during the moments when deputies found Suzanne’s abandoned bicycle near Highway 50 and County Road 225, the same day she was first reported missing, FOX 21 reported.
In the video, a deputy is calling out Suzanne’s name. The deputy at the scene indicated that there was no signs of a struggle. There was no blood at the scene, no skid marks, or any damage to the bicycle. A deputy is heard saying “something is up with the front tire.” And one of the deputies radios for someone to call the hospital.
Suzanne’s helmet was retrieved, approximately, 8.4 miles away from where the bike was recovered, days later. Her helmet contained a note in it that had her name, number, and family contact information on it, prosecutors said, Fox News reported.
According to the Chaffee County Commanding Chief Officer, Suzanne had suspected that Barry may be having an affair of his own that was revealed in text messages between Suzanne and her friend and former college roommate, Sheila Oliver. Both women had spoken of using a voice-activated “spy pen” to help find out if Barry was being unfaithful. According to Walker, the pen confirmed that Suzanne was having an affair but no evidence pointed to Barry, ABC 7News reported.
FBI agent Keith Harris testified that Barry told investigators he was not aware of his wife’s affair, Fox reported.
Barry Morphew was also accused of submitting a fraudulent vote on his wife’s behalf for the November election of President Donald Trump, Inside Edition previously reported.
On Monday, the defense team handed the prosecution an over 600-page packet of exhibits to be shown in court, Fox reported.
Barry Morphew is being held without bail in the Chaffee County Jail. His next court date will resume later this month, a report said.