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Morphew must travel daily for GPS data download, judge says

A GPS monitoring company previously raised concerns that there was no signal from his residence.

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — A judge ruled this week that Barry Morphew can remain at a home on Puma Path Drive in Maysville – which is frequently used as a vacation rental – even though a signal can not be received from his GPS ankle monitor.

However, in his ruling, Judge Patrick Murphey added a condition that Morphew must travel to Poncha Springs one time per day every day to allow for GPS data to be downloaded.

Morphew is charged in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of his wife Suzanne, who was last seen on May 10, 2020. Despite an exhaustive search, her body has not been found.

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

Last month, following a multi-day preliminary hearing, 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.

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.

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

The motion asked the court for "further direction" on the "continued GPS monitoring requirements." Murphey's ruling on Wednesday was in response to that request.

District Attorney Linda Stanley has asked the court to modify Morphew's bond conditions to prevent him from living at that home on Puma Path Drive because it's only a "few hundred yards" from another home that Morphew was previously ordered to stay away from. It's 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.

Credit: KUSA
Barry Morphew

Murphey said Morphew could continue to stay there but reminded him that he's not to have contact with that family.

Morphew's next hearing is set for Nov. 9. His trial is scheduled for May 2022.

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