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The Colorado man accused of killing his wife after begging on social media for her safe return was in back in court on Tuesday, when investigators testified that male DNA found on the woman’s glovebox matched partial profiles linked to three unsolved sexual assault cases.
The partial profile created from DNA left on Suzanne Morphew’s glovebox matched profiles developed in sexual assault cases in Chicago, Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Joseph Cahill said, The Denver Post reported. DNA from Barry Morphew was not found in the DNA sample, according to his lawyers, KUSA-TV reported.
Cahill’s testimony came as he was questioned by one of Morphew’s lawyers during the final day of a hearing at the Chaffee County courthouse, where both sides argued over for whether or not the case should go to trial, according to local reports.
Morphew wore a light gray suit and kept his head down at times as his attorneys argued that prosecutors have not “met the burden of proof” required to keep their client behind bar, local news station FOX 21 reported. His daughters and mother were reportedly in the courtroom for all or part of the day’s proceedings.
Judge Patrick Murphy said he would not make a decision on Tuesday as to whether or not to keep Morphew behind bars. Instead, the defense and prosecution would argue their sides on Sept. 17, at which point Murphy would announce a ruling.
Morphew, 53, is charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the May 2020 disappearance and presumed death of Suzanne Morphew — whose body has not been found — after pleading for her safe return on social media. He has not yet been asked to enter a plea.
According to their questioning during the four-day hearing, prosecutors believe Barry Morphew killed Suzanne Morphew on May 9, 2020 — the day before Mother’s Day — before leaving for work in the Denver area the following morning, stopping at several trash bins there. Her body has not been recovered.
This undated photo shows Barry and Suzanne Morphew
On Tuesday, Barry Morphew’s lawyers also asked investigators about statements he had made about how much he loved his wife and how he said he had searched nearly 200 square miles (518 square kilometers) looking for her after her disappearance.
Barry Morphew appeared to hold back tears as his attorney Dru Nielsen questioned retired FBI Agent Jonathan Grusing about statements Barry Morphew made to him. The husband continued to say he loved Suzanne Morphew after investigators told him she was having an affair.
“He said, ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t love her,’” Grusing said.
On cross-examination, Grusing also said multiple dogs trained to detect decomposing bodies did not react to any such evidence in Barry Morphew’s truck.
On Monday, investigators testified that they had discovered an unused .22-caliber round was found next to Suzanne’s bed, and a tranquilizer gun and accessories elsewhere in the home.
Suzanne Morphew, 49, went missing May 10 after leaving her Colorado home to go on a bike ride, her husband, Barry Morphew told authorities.
(Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office)
But body camera footage played Tuesday showed Chaffee County sheriff’s deputies saying they did not believe the gun worked. Prosecutors have not explained whether or how the tranquilizer gun and parts may have been involved in Suzanne Morphew’s death.
Prosecutors on Monday also showed body camera footage of Barry Morphew with deputies at the couple’s home on May 10, 2020, the day his wife Suzanne Morphew was reported missing by a neighbor, The Denver Post reported.
The deputies were looking for an item of Suzanne Morphew’s clothing to help tracking dogs find her. It was the first time Barry Morphew had been in the house in the mountains of southern Colorado since his wife was reported missing and he acted oddly and did not try to look around for her, Chaffee County Undersheriff Andy Rohrich testified.
“He’s not even trying to call her phone,” he said. “This is the last place, according to his testimony, that he’s seen his wife alive and he’s not asking any questions.”
When Suzanne Morphew disappeared, investigators photographed injuries on Barry Morphew’s hands and scratches on his left arm that appeared to be caused by fingernails, Rohrich said.
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In this still image from video, Barry Morphew, center, appears in court in Salida, Colo., Thursday, May 6, 2021. Morphew was arrested on Wednesday, May 5, in connection with the disappearance of his wife, Suzanne Morphew, who was last seen a year ago on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2020. (KUSA via AP, Pool)
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Barry Morphew’s May 5, 2021 booking photo (Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office)
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Barry Morphew previously said investigators were trying to blame him for the May 10 disappearance of his wife, Suzanne. He was arrested Wednesday and is charged with first-degree murder. (Courtesy of Suzanne Morphew’s Family)
Law enforcement officials also testified that Morphew had shed “crocodile tears” at times while they investigated the case, and at one point even asked about being ranted immunity if he worked with investigators.
Previous testimony revealed that Suzanne Morphew used a “spy pen,” a device that looks like a pen and can automatically record conversations when sound is detected, because she feared her husband Barry Morphew was having an affair.
Investigators did not find any evidence that Barry Morphew was having an affair, but the pen’s recordings revealed that Suzanne Morphew was, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Commander Alex Walker said on August 9. The man she had had an affair with for two years did not contact authorities after Suzanne Morphew disappeared but spoke to investigators once they identified who he was, Walker said.
In another recording captured by the pen which was difficult to hear, the Morphews seemed to be arguing about money, FBI agent Kenneth Harris testified.
Prosecutors also presented text messages between Suzanne Morphew and a friend from 2019 and 2020 in which she complained that her husband was picking fights and putting their children in the middle.
“He’s not stable,” Suzanne Morphew wrote in one message shown in court. “It’s guilt and desperate measures he’s taking … I can’t win with him. He’s too good at the manipulation. I feel stuck.”
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Louis Casiano contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press.
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