DNA linked to sex assaults found in missing woman’s car
SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — Male DNA that corresponds with partial profiles found in three unsolved sexual assault cases was found in the car of a missing Colorado woman whose husband is charged with killing her, an investigator testified Tuesday.
The partial DNA 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 to determine whether Morphew will stand trial for murder and other charges in his wife’s presumed death.
Morphew, 53, was charged in May after pleading for his wife’s safe return on social media soon after she was reported missing by a neighbor on Mother’s Day in 2020. He has not yet been asked to enter a plea.
According to their questioning during the four-day hearing, prosecutors believe Morphew killed his wife, Suzanne Morphew, on the evening of May 9, 2020, before leaving for work in the Denver area the following day, which was Mother’s Day. Her body has not been found.
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 held 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.
While the prosecution repeatedly brought up a tranquilizer gun and accessories found in the couple’s home, the defense played body camera footage that 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.
Judge Patrick Murphy said he would rule on whether there was enough evidence for Barry Morphew to stand trial at a hearing on Sept. 17.