A Colorado man who was arrested this month in connection to the death of his wife who went missing last year is also being accused of election fraud during the Nov. 3 presidential election, according to court documents.
Barry Morphew, who is facing possible first-degree murder charges and other charges in connection to his missing wife Suzanne Morphew, told investigators that he mailed in a ballot on behalf of his wife, who was still missing, according to The Associated Press, citing an arrest warrant signed by a Chaffee County judge.
Morphew is now facing charges of forgery of a public record and election mail ballot fraud.
In October 2020, the Chaffee County Clerk told the sheriff’s office that it received a mail-in ballot for Suzanne Morphew, who went missing in May 2020 and who had become the subject of nationwide headlines, according to an arrest affidavit from the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office cited by 9News in Colorado. The alleged fraudulent ballot was given to the sheriff’s office and seized as evidence, the station reported.
Barry Morphew told investigators that he submitted the ballot in his missing wife’s name for former President Donald Trump, the station reported. Investigators asked him if he knew that was illegal and he responded, “I didn’t know you couldn’t do that for your spouse,” according to the affidavit.
The ballot did not contain his wife’s signature but listed Barry Morphew as the witness, the court documents said, reported KDVR.
He was arrested on the murder charges on May 6 on suspicion of killing his wife, Suzanne Morphew, whose body has not been recovered. She was first reported missing by a neighbor on May 10, 2020, after failing to return from a bike ride.
A week after she disappeared, Barry Morphew released a Facebook video asking for information about her whereabouts.
A separate arrest affidavit outlining the evidence leading investigators to believe Morphew is responsible for his wife’s death has been sealed. On Friday, Chief Judge Patrick Murphy issued an order giving prosecutors 14 days to respond to a new defense motion to limit public access to that affidavit.
Morphew is being represented by state public defenders, who in Colorado do not comment on their cases. His next scheduled court appearance in both the murder and fraud cases is on May 27.
At his last court appearance on May 6, prosecutors said they did not object to Barry Morphew, who is being held in a nearby jail, from being able to have contact with his two daughters as long as it was civil. Murphy allowed the contact but ordered that it could not be harassing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.