Accused murderer Barry Morphew, 53, is in even more legal jeopardy in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of his wife and alleged victim Suzanne Morphew, 49. The Colorado man allegedly cast a ballot in the missing woman’s name for the 2020 presidential election. Incidentally, it was for incumbent Donald Trump.
The Chaffee County Clerk made a report of voter fraud in October 2020, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Denver Fox affiliate KDVR-TV. The ballot was in Suzanne Morphew’s name, even though she had been reported missing from Salida, Colorado by a neighbor on May 10, 2020 — Mother’s Day — after she did not return home from a bike ride. A week later, Suzanne’s husband, who at that time was not charged in his wife’s presumed death, appeared in a video pleading for her safe return home.
“If anyone is out there that can hear this, that has you, please, we’ll do whatever it takes to bring you back,” her husband said shortly after her disappearance. “We love you. We miss you. Your girls need you. No questions asked. However much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back.”
Suzanne’s ballot allegedly did not feature her signature, but it did list her husband as the witness. Barry Morphew allegedly told FBI agents on April 22, 2021 that he submitted the ballot in her name “Just because I wanted Trump to win.”
He said he knew his wife would going to vote for Trump anyway, authorities said. The “other guys” were cheating, so he would give the former president “another vote,” Morphew allegedly said — apparently referencing the 45th president’s incessant but baseless claims of a stolen election.
Agents asked Morphew if he knew that submitting a ballot on behalf of someone else was illegal.
“I didn’t know you couldn’t do that for your spouse,” he said.
It’s also illegal to kill one’s wife. Morphew was arrested just days later on May 5, 2021 on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public servant. Suzanne remains missing. 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley declined to suggest a cause of death, saying they did not wish to speculate publicly without the body.
Barry Morphew made a first appearance in court on May 6. The judge did not reporters to record audio of the hearing.
Morphew is charged with forgery in the voting fraud matter, according to records obtained by Law&Crime. He is represented by the Colorado public defender’s office.
“It is the policy of the Colorado Public Defender to not comment on cases,” Morphew attorney Daniel Zettler told Law&Crime in an email.
A hearing for both cases is set for May 27.
Last year, the defendant’s uncle Bob Morphew, an Indiana resident, dismissed the idea that his nephew played a role in Suzanne’s disappearance.
“They’re a loving couple and I’ve never seen any kind of unhappiness with each other or produced by either one of them,” he told Colorado Springs Fox affiliate KXRM. “What you saw on that video from Barry the other day that’s exactly Barry and that’s exactly how he feels. He loves her and he wants her back, he wasn’t putting on. I think anybody that ever knew them at any point in their married life would tell you that they were as loving of a couple as you would find anywhere.”
But other relatives have described Morphew as having a “cunning personality” and suggested “financial pressure” may have led to murder.
Matt Naham contributed to this report.
[Mugshot of Barry Morphew and image of Suzanne Morphew both via the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office]
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