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Ankle monitor signal can't be picked up at or near Barry Morphew's home

As part of his bond conditions, Barry Morphew is required to wear an ankle monitor, but the company says it can't get a signal from his current home.

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — Barry Morphew, who is charged in connection with the 2020 disappearance and presumed death of his wife Suzanne, is free on bond while he awaits trial, but problems with a GPS monitoring system threaten to change that.

Suzanne Morphew, 49, of Maysville, was last seen on May 10, 2020. Despite an exhaustive search, her body has not been found.

RELATED: Judge rules there is probable cause for Barry Morphew to stand trial

Last month, following a multi-day preliminary hearing, Judge Patrick Murphy ruled there was enough evidence to proceed to trial, but said prosecutors did not meet the "high standard of evidence" to deny bail. He subsequently set Morphew's bail at $500,000 cash only, which he posted on Sept. 20 ahead of his trial set for May 2022.

As part of his bond, Murphey ordered Morphew to not travel outside Chaffee County without the court's permission, to surrender his passport and to wear an ankle monitor. Conditions were later modified by the court to allow Morphew to travel outside the county to meet with his attorneys or to service or maintain his GPS unit.

However, Salida-based Intervention Inc., which is tasked with monitoring the GPS system, wrote in a court filing on Sept. 21 that they're "unable to pick up a GPS or cell signal" in the area of Morphew's home.

RELATED: Barry Morphew out on bail, arrest affidavit released in murder case

Due to that lack of communication, the company said they cannot provide the court with any "battery or tamper alert information" when Morphew is at or near his home.

The motion asked the court for "further direction" on the "continued GPS monitoring requirements."

In a separate motion filed that same day, District Attorney Linda Stanley asked the court to modify Morphew's bond conditions to prevent him from living at a home on Puma Path Drive in Maysville which is frequently used as a vacation rental.

Stanley asked that he not be allowed to live there because it's only a "few hundred yards" from another home that Morphew was previously ordered to stay away from.

RELATED: Woman arrested for trespassing at former Morphew residence, sheriff says

The Puma Path Drive home is also in the same neighborhood as a family who has made it clear they don't want any contact with Morphew, according to the motion.

Finally, according to the motion, prosecutors believe Morphew is paying rent at a residence near the courthouse and said it "makes sense" for him to reside there instead. 

Credit: KUSA
Barry Morphew

The people's motion was filed around the same time as the motion from Intervention Inc., so it's unclear if the DA knew about the GPS issues when it was filed.

It's not known when the court might issue a decision about the bond modification or provide guidance on the GPS issues.

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