Suzanne Morphew vanished without a trace back on Mother’s Day 2020 and has not been seen alive since
Macy and Mallory Morphew told Fremont County Judge Ramsey Lama in court on Tuesday that they “know our dad didn’t have anything to do with” what happened to their mother, who has not been seen alive in almost two years.
The couple’s two adult daughters have stood by their father throughout the accusations levelled against him and wept and embraced him in the courtroom as the judge dismissed the murder charges.
“We fully support this dismissal. We miss our mom dearly and know our dad didn’t have anything to do with it,” said Mallory.
Macy told the court that they “want to move on with our lives and take time to heal”.
“We hope to find out what really happened to our mom,” she said, reported 9 News.
The siblings beamed as they walked out of the courthouse hand in hand with their father following Tuesday’s bombshell ruling.
Judge Lama dismissed the charges against Mr Morphew after prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to do so without prejudice just days before his murder trial was scheduled to start.
Dismissal without prejudice means that the charges can still be filed again at a later date.
DA Linda Stanley filed the motion saying that investigators believe they are close to finding Ms Morphew’s body in a “remote and mountainous” region close to the family home where she was last seen alive.
The mother-of-two vanished without a trace back on Mother’s Day 2020 after she reportedly left the home she shared with her husband in Chaffee County, Colorado, to go on a bike ride.
Mr Morphew told police he left his wife at their home early that morning to travel to a construction job in Denver.
She was reported missing by a neighbour when the couple’s two daughters were unable to get in contact with her while they were on an out-of-state trip. Her bike was found on a trail close to their home.
The 49-year-old has never been seen or heard from since and is presumed dead.
Extensive searches have been carried out at various locations including land around the Morphew’s home and on a plot of land previously owned by Mr Morphew, but her body has never been found.
In May 2021, her husband was arrested and charged with her murder – almost exactly one year to the day from his wife’s disappearance.
As well as first-degree murder, he was also charged with tampering with a human body, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a dangerous weapon and attempting to influence a public servant
The murder trial was scheduled to begin on 28 April.
According to the prosecutor’s motion filed on Tuesday, investigators have “for some time” been focusing their search for the missing mother on “a single location”.
However, the search is currently being hampered by extreme weather and snowpack conditions.
If Ms Morphew’s remains are found in the location, this could provide crucial evidence to either support or refute murder charges against her husband.
“In typical homicide cases, the fact of the victim’s death is rarely at issue, but in a case such as this, the most influential fact of consequence is whether or not Ms Morphew is deceased,” reads the motion.
“If the body proves to be there, 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.”
In the filing, prosecutors also argued that the court had excluded their “best evidence” from being presented at trial.
Earlier this month, the judge ruled that 12 of the prosecution’s 14 expert witnesses could not testify at Mr Morphew’s trial and that data including GPS location data, cellphone and truck data could also not be presented to the jury.
The evidence was excluded after the judge found that prosecutors had repeatedly failed to turn over evidence to Mr Morphew’s legal team that could be used to help his defence.
This evidence included DNA from an unknown man linked to separate sexual assault cases inside the missing mother-of-two’s vehicle.
In Tuesday’s court filing, the DA said that the judge’s “sanctions” excluding “critical” evidence and witnesses for the prosecution – and without Ms Morphew’s body – they cannot move forward with the trial “in good faith”.
Prosecutors said that they had spoken with Ms Morphew’s siblings who agreed with the motion to dismiss at this time.
They had not spoken with the couple’s two daughters “for obvious reasons”, the filing stated.
Mr Morphew’s attorneys said outside the courthouse that the prosecution wanted the charges to be dropped “because they knew they were going to lose this trial”.
While the couple’s children are supporting their father, Ms Morphew’s other family members have long aired their suspicions about her sudden disappearance and the actions of her husband.
Just four days before her disappearance, Ms Morphew sent her husband a text message saying she wanted a divorce, saying she was “done, let’s handle this civilly”, according to prosecutors.
She had also allegedly told friends about her plans to leave him and had been recording their arguments and his alleged abuse with a recording pen and in written notes on her phone.
Investigators also learned that Ms Morphew had been having an affair with an old friend.
Meanwhile, Mr Morphew allegedly claimed to police officers that their marriage was “perfect”.
Days after Ms Morphew’s disappearance, Mr Morphew posted a video message online where he cried and pleaded for his wife to come home and offered a $100,000 reward for her safe return.
“Honey, I love you and I want you back so bad,” he said in the video.
He later sold the family home where he said he last saw his wife alive.