As of Friday, May 15, the local and federal authorities involved in the case are planning to “launch a comprehensive search of the area” just west of the County Road 225 and Highway 50 after investigators found something that could possibly be a personal item that belongs to Susanne Morphew, the 49-year-old missing Colorado woman, according to the press release.
“More than fifty searchers and investigators will comb the area in an effort to seek additional items or other clues that may identify the whereabouts of Ms. Morphew,” the press release stated. The Chaffee County Sheriff said that as a result of this development, the area in question will be closed temporarily for some time, although the authorities did not disclose how long it would take.
“The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and its partners will work to ensure the roads are opened as quickly as possible as to reduce the impact on drivers and those living in the area,” the press release stated.
The authorities encourage anyone who may have information regarding Morphew and her disappearance to contact the police.
Morphew was out on a bike ride in the area of Chaffee County, located near Colorado Springs on Sunday, and when the mother of two didn’t come home from her bike ride, her neighbor reported her missing, according to Fox News.
The Sun reported that the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office received reports of her disappearance at around 5:46 p.m. on Sunday.
Following that, the local authorities gathered together almost immediately to start the search, along with several other authorities from other departments.
According to the Daily Mail, the bike she used during the ride was found on Sunday evening, but as of Friday, she remains missing.
In addition, Fox News reported that the FBI has also joined in on the search for Morphew, and according to Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze, her case was now an open criminal investigation.
‘I can’t say whether the circumstances of her disappearance are suspicious and I can’t share what we’ve found,’ Spezze told KRDO. ‘I can tell you that in addition to the search, we have an ongoing investigation.’
Spezze also said that Morphew’s husband was reportedly out of town in Denver when Morphew went missing but declined to say whether he is actively cooperating with the investigation. Similarly, authorities did not disclose whether Morphew’s nephew, Trevor Noel is cooperating with the investigation.
However, the Noel told the news outlet that the family has put together a $200,000 reward for the safe return of Morphew, offered up by Morphew’s husband and a family friend.
“The $200,000 means that we’ll do whatever we can to get her back safely. No questions asked,” said Noel.
In addition to the local authorities searching for Morphew, her family is also conducting their own search on the missing 49-year-old woman as well, according to the Mail.
“We are progressing and are NOT slowing down the search. We are covering the mountains on foot and ATV when possible and all surrounding areas looking for any sign of her,” Noel said.