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Search for former Indiana teacher in Colorado focuses on area where personal item found

Former Hamilton Heights Middle School teacher Suzanne Morphew was last seen when she went for a bike ride on Mother's Day.
Suzanne Morphew (Chaffee County Sheriff's Office photo)

CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. (KUSA) — Authorities planned to launch a targeted search Friday for a former Indiana teacher missing in Colorado after a personal item thought to belong to her was found in the area where she disappeared.

Suzanne Morphew, 49, of Maysville, went for a bike ride on Sunday and never returned.

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office said in a release that an item thought to belong to Morphew was found just west of County Road 225 and West U.S. 50 near Maysville. The Sheriff's Office didn't say what the personal item was or where exactly it was found.

Morphew taught at Hamilton Heights Middle School before her familiy moved to Colorado two years ago.

On Friday, members of the Sheriff's Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the FBI plan to do a comprehensive search of the area, according to the press release.

More than 50 searchers and investigators will focus on that area in an effort to find additional items or other clues that might lead them to Morphew.

The search will result in the closure of U.S. 50 over Monarch Pass for an undetermined amount of time, the release says.

RELATED: $200K reward offered for missing 49-year-old Chaffee County woman

Just before 6 p.m. May 10, the Chaffee County Communications Center was notified by a neighbor that Morphew went out for a bike ride in the area of County Road 225 and West U.S. 50 and did not return.

Over the past several days, more than 100 personnel from law enforcement and search and rescue teams have looked for Morphew. They have used drones and tracking dogs to aid in the search. Swiftwater rescue teams have searched watershed areas around the Arkansas River.

A $200,000 reward is being offered for information related to Morphew's disappearance. Half that money is being offered by Morphew's family, according to a Facebook group set up to help find her. The other half is coming from a family friend who decided to match the family's offer.

Anyone with information about Morphew's disappearance is asked to call a tip line at 719-312-7530. Investigators have received dozens of tips since Morphew went missing.