Cause of Death Revealed for Suzanne Morphew Years After She Vanished on Mother's Day Bike Ride

Suzanne Morphew went missing while she was on a bike ride in May 2020

<p>Chaffee County Sheriff

Chaffee County Sheriff's Office

Suzanne Morphew

The cause and manner of death for Suzanne Morphew, the 49-year-old Colorado mother of two who vanished while on a bike ride on Mother’s Day in 2020, have been revealed by authorities.

Suzanne, whose remains were found in September 2023, died by homicide, a Colorado county coroner’s office said in its report, which was published by KKTV. The report stated she was killed “by undetermined means in the setting of butorphanol, azaperone, and medetomidine intoxication."

The autopsy stated that the cocktail of drugs is "marketed as a compounded immobilizer for wildlife" — or an animal tranquilizer,

Colorado Public Radio reports that several years ago, law enforcement recovered a dart gun and materials used to inject tranquilizer into darts in her husband's Barry Morphew's gun safe, but found no tranquilizer chemicals in his home.

Related: Police Found Tranquilizer Dart Cap in Suzanne Morphew's Home After She Vanished

Suzanne's autopsy further revealed that a "weathered" bullet along with Suzanne's biking clothes were found with her remains, but it wasn't immediately clear if the bullet had been used.

She was receiving maintenance chemotherapy for follicular lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, the autopsy stated.

Suzanne disappeared on May 10, 2020 in Maysville, Colo. when she reportedly went on a bike ride, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.

Authorities soon zeroed in on Barry as a suspect. Barry, who was subsequently charged, has steadfastly denied the allegations, telling FOX 21 News in August 2020 that police had “screwed this whole thing up from the beginning” and were trying to pin his wife's death on him.

Related: D.A. 'Confident' in Murder Case Against Husband of Suzanne Morphew Despite Her Body Not Being Located

On May 5, 2021, almost a year after Suzanne disappeared, police arrested Barry on first-degree murder charges, as well as tampering with physical evidence and attempting to influence a public servant, according to court documents cited by ABC News.

Barry pleaded not guilty to the charges and in April 2022, authorities dropped the charges against him, the Colorado Judicial Department told PEOPLE at the time. However, a judge granted a request by prosecutors to dismiss the charges without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to file the charges against Barry at a later date.

Related: Missing Colo. Mom Suzanne Morphew's Brother Believes 'Things Weren't Hunky Dory' at Home

Since Suzanne’s body was recovered in September 2023, there has been a possibility that Barry could be charged again, PEOPLE previously reported, although no charges have been filed against him since then.

<p>Chaffee County Sheriff's Office</p> Barry Morphew

Chaffee County Sheriff's Office

Barry Morphew

Related: Preliminary Hearing for Missing Colo. Mom Suzanne Morphew Unveils Extramarital Affair, Arguments About Money

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On Monday, one of Barry's lawyers reiterated their claims of his innocence, adding that the tranquilizer found in Suzanne's body was "a very common animal tranquilizer," per 9 NEWS.

"Barry Morphew is innocent and he could not have killed his wife," his attorney, Jane Fisher-Byrialsen, told the outlet.

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