FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. – Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday asking a judge to dismiss charges against Barry Morphew, the Colorado man accused of killing his wife in 2020.

The judge accepted the motion.

Suzanne Morphew is a former resident of Alexandria, Indiana, who moved to Colorado years ago. She disappeared on Mother’s Day weekend in 2020, prompting a large search and an extensive investigation.

Though her remains haven’t been found, prosecutors charged her husband, Barry Morphew, with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and attempting to influence a public servant. His arrest came about a year after she was reported missing.

The trial was scheduled to begin on April 28, with a judge ruling earlier this month that the trial could proceed despite admonishing the prosecution for failing to share certain materials and missing deadlines during discovery.

Barry Morphew

In Tuesday’s motion, the prosecution asked the court to dismiss the current charges “without prejudice,” meaning they could refile them against Morphew at a later time.

The filing indicated that investigators believed they were close to finding Suzanne Morphew’s body, a key discovery that would radically change the case.

Attorneys for Barry Morphew have maintained the charges should be dropped because there was no evidence of murder, no eyewitnesses and no physical evidence that Suzanne Morphew was dead.

From the court filing:

Throughout the pendency of this case, the People and law enforcement have been unrelenting in our search for Ms. Morphew. For some time, a single location has been the target of ongoing investigation. For the reasons expressed below, the People have a good faith reason to believe further investigation into this matter is essential to answering the most consequential question presented by this case. As this search cannot be accomplished in the coming weeks due to weather and snowpack conditions, the People respectfully ask this Court to dismiss the current indictment against the Defendant without prejudice.

Prosecutors wrote that they were hopeful they would find Suzanne Morphew’s body before the trial began. However, the remote location and snowpack complicated the efforts. Search teams have concentrated on a “remote and mountainous region” near the Morphew residence. Snowfall, as much as five feet, has made it challenging to excavate the area.

The court filing said prosecutors consulted with the family, who agreed with the decision to ask for a dismissal. Suzanne Morphew’s sister, the family’s primary representative, “relayed her agreement with the motion to dismiss” while Morphew’s brothers were “also in agreement,” the filing said.

Barry Morphew’s attorneys had sought a dismissal on the grounds that prosecutors withheld evidence. A judge had acknowledged the prosecution’s shortcomings in sharing materials in an earlier ruling and had also struck down testimony from several expert witnesses from the prosecution.

Prosecutors argued that the court had “functionally excluded the People’s best evidence to move forward by severely limiting our experts’ testimony.”