BARRY Morphew has been sued for fraud in a real-estate dispute with neighbors – days after he filed a $15million lawsuit against prosecutors for arresting him for the murder of his missing wife, Suzanne.
Morphew, 55, was named as the defendant in a complaint regarding a property title dispute that’s also seeking damages for fraud and trespass filed in Hamilton County, Indiana, on May 8.
The widowed father-of-two is accused of failing and refusing to return a one-acre strip of land adjoining a property he owned and later sold in Cicero, in 2019, despite allegedly promising to do so.
“[Barry Morphew] received said strip of real estate only upon the promise to re-deed the same to Plaintiffs,” reads the suit, obtained by The U.S, Sun.
“[Morphew] has wholly failed and refused to return said real estate.
“Further, [Morphew] has trespassed on Plaintiffs’ adjoining real estate, killed the grass and planted trees on Plaintiff’s real estate.”
According to the document, Morphew told the Plaintiffs, Jeffrey and Cheryl Titus, that he needed the one-acre plot to sell his property but the claim was “false and known by [Morphew] to be false.”
“Plaintiffs reasonably relied on said statement to their detriment,” the suit reads.
To evidence their claim, Jeffrey and Cheryl Titus included a text chain they shared with Barry on May 16, 2019 – almost exactly a year before Suzanne vanished – discussing the plot in question.
“Hey buddy. It’s Barry Morphew. Do you want that acre back? Let me know,” wrote Morphew.
“I appreciate you selling to me to be able to sell to Jordan. Turns out I didn’t need it for the sale. Oh well. Like for you to have it back but I don’t want to lose too much. Just let me know,” he added in a follow-up message.
Jeff Titus responded the following day, writing: “Hey Barry, Jordan and I was [sic] talking about that acre the other day, he and I were under the impression once you got your trees off you were going to deed it back to me sense [sic] he paid you $15k per acre for 10 acres was what [sic] needed for him to get the building permit.
“I really didn’t want to sell that acre but when you said you wanted to build your home I was doing it as a favor to you, if I would have known you were going to sell I would not have sold it.
“There is really no value to the acre being sandwiched between the two properties plus there will be a lot of work cleaning the property because of the large wild trees that have grown up plus filling in the holes.
“The right thing to do is deed the property back to me after you remove the trees you want I will clean up the property. Jeff.”
In addition to asking the judge to help them recover possession of the land, the Titus family is seeking “treble damages” and the cost of their legal fees.
Barry Morphew’s attorney, Raymond Adler, has been contacted for comment on the lawsuit. This story will be updated if a reply is received.
SEEKING $15M OVER ARREST
Barry Morphew launched a lawsuit of his own on May 2 – six days before being sued by the Titus family – accusing prosecutors of violating his civil rights by “wrongfully” arresting him for the murder of his missing wife, Suzanne, who vanished on Mother’s Day 2020.
The suit, which seeks $15million in damages, alleges that investigators lied and withheld and manufactured information to suit a hastily-drawn theory that Barry murdered Suzanne in a fit of rage over the affair she was having and hid her body sometime between the morning of May 9 and early May 10.
It also alleges that the named officials “conspired to deprive” Barry of his constitutional rights and later tried to “conceal the knowing and reckless misconduct and to protect one another from liability for depriving Barry Morphew of his constitutional rights.”
“As result of the Defendants’ conduct Barry was charged, arrested, and prosecuted, and his property seized, for a crime he did not commit,” the lawsuit said.
“As [a] result of the Defendants’ conduct, Barry spent five months in jail, approximately six more months wearing a GPS ankle monitor with severe restrictions on his movement, and almost a year defending against the criminal charges. To this date, Barry’s property remains in the CCSD’s possession.”
In a statement, Attorney Jane Byrialsen said: “Barry Morphew’s Constitutional Rights were trampled on, he and his daughters have suffered great harm, and we will not tolerate such abuses of power.”
A source close to Barry exclusively revealed to The U.S. Sun that while he works to “finally clear” his name, he remains completely broken over the disappearance of his wife and is struggling to move on without definitive answers as to what happened to her.
“He’s holding onto hope that she will be found but he also knows that while law enforcement has the means to do that, they aren’t doing it, they’re not searching for her,” said the source, a close friend who asked to remain anonymous.
“But at the same time, I’d say he’s broken. These last few years have broken him in a lot of ways.
“Barry is trying to rebuild his life […] he’s working but also taking time to spend with his daughters and heal together.
“But with the anniversary and everything else coming up, that brings all these emotions back up again – and still there’s no closure.
“That’s been very challenging, not knowing what happened to Suzanne, and we don’t know if we ever will.
“It’s harder to move forward without closure. It’s been three years, and time does help, but there’s still a lot going on and it’s all very complicated.”
MOM MISSING FOR 3 YEARS
Last week marked three years since Suzanne was last seen alive.
The 49-year-old, who was being treated for cancer, was reported missing from her Salida, Colorado, home on May 10, 2020.
At first, it appeared as though Suzanne left home for a bike ride earlier that morning but failed to return.
Her bike was later found down a steep embankment close to the home in a scene police believed to be staged.
Very few other physical clues were recovered in the case but police believe the mom-of-two was murdered sometime between the afternoon of May 9 and May 10 – several hours before she was reported missing.
Barry Morphew, now 55, is the only person to have been publicly named as a suspect in connection with her presumed death.
He was 150 miles away in Broomfield, Colorado when the call to report Suzanne missing was made.
In the months preceding her disappearance, Suzanne was having an affair with an old high school boyfriend, Jeff Libler.
Messages recovered from her cellphone indicated that she was planning to leave Barry and had often confided in friends about his allegedly controlling and abusive behavior.
In one message to a friend, Suzanne likened Barry to “Jekyll and Hyde,” court records show.
In another message addressed to Barry on May 6, she wrote: “I’m done, I could care less what you’re up to have been for years. We just need to figure this out civilly.”
In other messages, Suzanne said that he was becoming increasingly volatile. In one exchange, she claimed that Barry had put a gun to his head and threatened to pull the trigger if she left him.
The theory shared by prosecutors at the time of his arrest was that Barry had discovered Suzanne’s affair with Libler, murdered her in a rage sometime between May 9 and May 10, and disposed of her remains before driving to Broomfield.
Barry was questioned by police over a series of months before he was arrested and charged with murder in May 2021.
The charges were later dropped by a judge without prejudice at the request of the prosecution, who wanted to find Suzanne’s body before advancing to trial.
‘I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG’
The case remains active and ongoing and Barry is still a prime suspect.
He appeared alongside his two daughters, Mallory and Macy Morphew, on Good Morning America this week to re-protest his innocence.
Morphew insisted that he was “absolutely not” involved in the death of his wife and said police were “wrong” to ever suspect him.
“They’ve got tunnel vision and they looked at one person,” he said. “And they’ve got too much pride to say they’re wrong and look somewhere else.”
Barry also accused Suzanne of making “bad decisions” prior to her disappearance and acknowledged the possibility of being charged with murder again in the future should new evidence come to light.
“I was innocent the first time they arrested me, so I’m sure it’s possible,” said Barry at the likelihood of being charged again.
“But I don’t have anything to worry about. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
His two daughters, meanwhile, insisted that they’ve “never had a shred of doubt” regarding Barry’s claims of innocence and described the last three years as “literally our worst nightmare.”
“It’s really difficult, especially because of the lack of closure we have,” said Macy.