Wed. May 29th, 2024

Colo. mom Suzanne Morphew’s death ruled a homicide 4 years after she went missing

Alex Thompson By Alex Thompson May28,2024

SALIDA, Colo. (TCD) — The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced this week that Suzanne Morphew’s cause of death has officially been ruled a homicide.

According to a statement released April 29, Morphew’s autopsy has been completed and it was concluded that she died from “homicide by undetermined means in the setting of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine intoxication.” The Mayo Clinic says butorphanol is a narcotic nasal spray typically used “to relieve pain severe enough to require opioid treatment and when other pain medicines did not work well enough or cannot be tolerated.”

A 2022 article published in the peer-reviewed journal Wildlife Society Bulletin said those three drugs together have “grown in popularity for wildlife capture.” Azaperone is a type of tranquilizer that slows the nervous system, while medetomidine is another type of sedative to help relieve pain. The study says the combination is a “reversible drug combination with low toxicity to humans.”

Morphew was reported missing the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office on May 10, 2020, after a neighbor noted she left for a bike ride but never returned home. Law enforcement officials searched for the 49-year-old mother but did not find her remains until September 2023 in Saguache County. Detectives reportedly discovered Morphew’s body while in the area for an unrelated investigation.

Morphew’s husband, Barry Morphew, was arrested May 5, 2021, on charges of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and attempt to influence a public servant. In April 2022, however, the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him without prejudice, which means they can refile charges against him.

In the motion to dismiss, the district attorney’s office said finding Morphew’s body was a top priority because “further forensic examination could potentially inculpate or exculpate the Defendant, which is incredibly important evidence for the jury to hear in determining the merits of the case.”

Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director Chris Schaefer said following the autopsy results, “The investigative team assembled to work this case continues to follow the evidence and only the evidence as we seek justice for Suzanne’s death.”

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Alex Thompson

By Alex Thompson

Alex is an award-winning journalist with a passion for investigative reporting. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Alex has covered a wide range of topics from politics to entertainment. Known for in-depth research and compelling storytelling, Alex's work has been featured in major news outlets around the world.

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One thought on “Colo. mom Suzanne Morphew’s death ruled a homicide 4 years after she went missing”
  1. Could you provide more information on the timeline of events leading up to the discovery of Suzanne Morphew’s remains?

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