I-Team 8

Brother of missing Indiana native Suzanne Morphew leading volunteer search expedition

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. (WISH) —The brother of missing Alexandria, Indiana, native Suzanne Morphew arrived Wednesday in Colorado to prepare for a six-day volunteer search expedition.

Andy Moorman believes his younger sister’s remains are buried within a 2.5-hour drive of the Salida, Colo. home she shared with her husband and their two daughters, he told News 8.

Morphew, 49, was reported missing on Mother’s Day after relatives were unable to reach her and asked a neighbor to check on her.

Phone records show her cell activity stopped the previous day, May 9, after she sent text messages to a friend whose wedding plans were disrupted by pandemic restrictions.

Moorman suspected his sister felt “isolated” and “lonely” in Colorado long before quarantine. 

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Her husband, Barry Morphew, relocated the family from Indiana to Colorado in spring 2018.

He was an avid hunter who “liked the great outdoors” and adjusted quickly to life in Colorado, where their eldest daughter was attending college, according to Moorman.

Suzanne Morphew missed her friends and family in Indiana but charmed people in her new town.

“The few people that she met in the two years she was [in Colorado] are all in on this search,” Moorman said. “She made friends with hairdressers, restaurant owners [and people] every place she went in, and they all loved her. Every one of those people has stepped forward to help.”

Moorman helped mobilize an “army” of approximately 500 volunteers within weeks, including dozens of Hoosiers who knew Morphew and strangers from across the nation who were captivated by the investigation into her disappearance.

The volunteers will search mountainous areas surrounding the Morphews’ Salida home from Thursday through Sept. 29 with the support of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Volunteers will be checked in and out of searches daily to ensure safety. Medical personnel will be stationed at each checkpoint. Search activities will not extend past 4 p.m. 

“I realize that what I’m looking for at this point is probably a person that’s passed and I’m prepared for that,” Moorman said. “But if they find her, I’m going to stop back immediately and I’m going to let the authorities take over. I don’t think that’s something I’m ready to see.”

He suspected his sister was the victim of foul play and died months ago.

Authorities searched the Salida home multiple times and a construction site where Barry Morphew was paid to lay dirt but found no remains and made no arrests in the case.

Barry Morphew is not expected to join the search expedition, according to Moorman.

“Last-minute” volunteers interested in contributing to the search effort can sign up online.

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