Ballarat community rallies to family of missing mother Samantha Murphy

Police looking for the body of Samantha Murphy are yet to say where in Ballarat they are searching.

Police looking for the body of Samantha Murphy are yet to say where in Ballarat they are searching. Photo: AAP

Dozens of volunteers continue looking for Ballarat woman Samantha Murphy despite police suspending their foot search.

The 51-year-old mother of three left home on February 4 to go jogging and has not been seen since.

Police have turned to CCTV footage to try and piece together Murphy’s final documented movements, saying a full-scale search will only resume if fresh information emerges.

Investigators are keen to review footage from the three suburbs even if it does not show Murphy.

Police on Saturday said there were no sinister factors about Murphy’s disappearance but there were significant concerns for her wellbeing.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in Ballarat on Sunday, passed on his thoughts to Murphy’s family and friends.

“It is, has been, I’m sure just such a difficult time,” he told reporters.

“I thank all those people who are involved in the search and hope that it has a good outcome. ”

Minister Catherine King, the member for Ballarat, said Murphy’s disappearance has been a really distressing week for the family and thanked search crews for their efforts.

“The terrain they’ve been working through is really difficult. It’s beautiful bushland, we all love it, but we know how difficult it is,” King told reporters.

“And just for a community like Ballarat, big hearts, very, very big hearts, and we just hope very much that there’s a positive outcome for Samantha Murphy and her family.”

Ballarat Mayor Des Hudson said the community response to Murphy’s disappearance had been “extraordinary”.

“There is certainly great empathy for Samantha’s family,” Hudson told Sky News on Sunday.

“I could not be prouder of our community.”

He said the community had come together to support and generously offered food to Murphy’s family over the past eight days of the search.

Official searches of areas such as parts of the Canadian State Forest have been paused until there is new information.

The tiny town of Buninyong, about 11 kilometres south of Ballarat, has been combed by SES volunteers.

Police said they remain in regular contact with the Murphy family about the investigation.

Murphy regularly jogged about 14 to 15 kilometres through nearby remote areas.

She left her home on Eureka Street in Ballarat East at 7am the day she disappeared.

CCTV footage from the family home shows her about to depart.

Police have been working with telecommunications staff to try to identify her route, given she carried a smart watch and phone.

Murphy has been described as physically and mentally strong.

She and her husband Michael run a car repair business called Inland Motor Body Works at Delacombe, a few suburbs from their home.

Anyone with information about Murphy’s disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.


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