CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Bureau of Investigation, FBI, 11th Judicial District, Salida Police Department and Fremont County Sheriff have joined the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office in launching an investigation into the disappearance of a Maysville area woman.
Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze told Denver7 Wednesday afternoon that his office was going to re-evaluate its strategy, after a fourth day of searching for 49-year-old Suzanne Morphew turned up with no new leads.
Late Wednesday, CBI set up a dedicated tip line. The tip line number is 719-312-7530.
The search for Morphew began late Sunday, when a neighbor called 911 saying the 49-year old had gone for a bike ride and never returned.
Search and Rescue crews combed the area near U.S. Highway 50 and Chaffee County Road 225Sunday evening, and again Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to a news release posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page, "more than 100 search personnel from Chaffee County Search and Rescue, the Department of Corrections, and the Chaffee County Combined Tac Team have scoured the area."
Numerous drones were used to assist in the search.
Eight different tracking and scent dogs from the Department of Corrections, and from Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado were deployed to aid in the search.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife and a Swiftwater Rescue Team searched area watersheds, and Reach Air Ambulance flew search missions over the area, but Morphew has yet to be located.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the entrance to CR 225 was cordoned off by two sheriff's office vehicles.
Trevor Noel, Morphew's nephew who also lives in Colorado, spoke with Denver7 Thursday morning. He said a family friend matched Morphew husband's offer of a reward of $100,000, bringing the total reward to $200,000 for her safe return, no questions asked.
The GoFundMe is raising money to support search and rescue efforts in the form of meals, lodging and equipment, Noel said. He created the page. As of Thursday morning, almost 150 people had raised close to $20,000.
"We have a lot of people out here working and taking care of everything so were trying to cover all their expenses and make sure they’re well taken care of and that we have everything we need to be well-equipped to go out and find her," he said.
He said people who live out of town can share the links with their contact lists.
"Share the link to the Facebook page and share the tip line number and share the GoFundMe," he said. "And it’s a $200,000 reward, no questions asked. Bring her here. Bring her to us. Give her up. And it’s $200,000."
When asked if he had reason to believe there was foul play, Sheriff Spezze said, "I can't answer that. We are searching and investigating."
Nearby residents said they were heartened to hear that a tip line was being set up.
"It's just very concerning," said Jennifer Caskey, a resident of the Monarch Spur RV Park. "We do have a lot of wildlife in the area, so it's concerning that she's been gone for so long now, but we're praying."
Her husband, Lynn, said the mountain trails seem like they're pretty safe, so it just makes me wonder about the wildlife.
One new resident, Serena Bridge, said she'd been "a little freaked out about the COVID pandemic" and is even more concerned now that a local woman is missing.
Many residents in the RV park said they're willing to volunteer for a search, if needed.
Anyone with information about Morphew’s whereabouts is asked to call the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office at 719-539-2596 or Chaffee County Crime Stoppers at 719-539-2599, or the new tip line at 719-312-7530.