As new details continue to emerge the Suzanne Morphew case, suspicion of Barry Morphew’s involvement in the disappearance of his wife has gained media traction this week. The Colorado woman went missing on Mother’s Day, May 10, after she allegedly went for a solo bike ride in the morning and failed to return. On the day that Suzanne went missing, her daughters were on a camping trip in another state while Barry was in Denver for a construction job.
Barry hired two people to help him on the job over Mother’s Day weekend: A landscaper named Morgan Gentile, and another contractor named Jeff Puckett. Gentile told Fox21News that she had been working with Barry on a riverside area near Salida (where the Morphews live) on May 9, noting that “he was acting really weird about the beach area … He seemed stressed. He definitely seemed weird on Saturday.” In fact, although Gentile had been slated to work on the area for the full day, she said that Barry dismissed her from the job at 11 a.m. “He said that he had to go make the wife happy — do some hiking or biking,” she said. “And I found out, like, later that day he was in town all day.”
The next day, Gentile said she received a call from Barry asking her to work on a project in near Denver — 150 miles away. Gentile said that the call was frantic and that it seemed as though “he had just had the worst night of his life.” According to Mary Branson, who lives next door to the Broomfield construction site that to which Gentile had been called, there was a strange sound coming from the site late on May 9. “At first I thought it was a truck or something maybe parked in my driveway … but no, it kept running,” Branson said. She likened the noise to machinery or construction equipment, and recalled that it lasted “for about half an hour.” The site is 12 miles away from the Morphews’ home. Yet, when the FBI commenced a three day search of the site on May 21, no more information was uncovered.
On May 10, Gentile drove with Puckett to the construction site. Barry appeared to have been working all day, but told his employees that there had been a family emergency and that he needed to rush home. “But we didn’t have the tools that we needed,” Gentile said. “It looked like Barry had emptied out his truck.” When Gentile and Puckett checked into the Holiday Inn where Barry had stayed the night before, Puckett took over Barry’s room.
According to an interview with DailyMail.com, Puckett had found Barry’s room scattered with wet towels and noted that it smelled strongly of chlorine. Gentile corroborated his statement, stating that, “we opened the door and, I mean, the chlorine hit you … my eyes started watering and burning.” However, Barry told Fox21News that he had also smelled the chlorine, and that he did not go to the pool nor purchase any chlorine himself. “I’m sure that they washed the room with that for the COVID,” he offered. Yet, a manager at the Broomfield Holiday Inn assured DailyMail.com that they do not use chlorine to clean guest rooms and that their pool is currently closed.
On May 11, Barry called Gentile to update her on the family emergency. “He said like, Suzanne has gotten attacked, or a mountain lion has gotten her,” Gentile stated, adding that Barry said he would send the additional material for the job. The material never arrived, so Gentile and Puckett drove back to Salida later that day. While near Salida, Gentile claimed that two men who were “linked” to Barry approached her and attempted to discourage her from talking to the police.
The men told her, “we would give you your paycheck, but we don’t want it to look like hush-hush money. You have rights, but you don’t have to give CBI [Colorado Bureau of Investigation] your phone.” Gentile told Fox21News that she did give her phone over to investigators and even gave five interviews to the police. Soon after, Morphew fired her via text message. Gentile posited that, “he fired me because I gave up my phone, I wasn’t staying quiet and I was complying with CBI … I feel like if he was innocent, he would have talked to me. I worked with him every day for a long time.”
Gentile and Barry’s close work relationship has led to speculation that the two were having an affair, but Gentile strongly denies the allegation. “I got treated through all this just like I’m the other woman, even though I’m not the other woman. I just happen to be a woman,” she said. When Fox21News asked Barry about his potential infidelity with Gentile, he said the claims were false. “Everybody’s out there saying, ‘Oh, you got a girlfriend, you must have had an affair,” he said. “There’s nobody. There’s never been another love in my life.” He also said that Gentile is “a meth head” and that “she’s mad at me because I fired her and don’t let her work for me anymore. She’s mad … so [she’s] not gonna say anything good about me.” Gentile expressed that she is now fearful of her former boss and that she does not want to see him again.
Suzanne’s brother, Andy Moorman, is spearheading a massive independent search that is expected to begin on September 24. Additionally, anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call a tip line at (719) 312 – 7530.
For more about the case, check out Week in True Crime: