Samantha Murphy’s husband shares sad daily ritual

Samantha and Mick Murphy would have been together 27 years in February.

Samantha and Mick Murphy would have been together 27 years in February. Photo: 9News

Samantha Murphy’s husband says he has not given up searching for her missing body, and has kept up the practice of scouring bushland and trails as a way to stay sane.

Mick Murphy said he still drives the streets or spends hours walking through pine plantations, looking for clues that could lead to finding his wife of 27 years.

“Sometimes I go for a drive and it might not be anywhere particular, or I go for a walk for two hours. It varies every day,” he said in an interview with 9News.

“It’s very good for my mind and if I sat at home I wouldn’t do myself any favours.”

Police conducted a “significant search” of the Enfield State Park area near Ballarat on Thursday and Friday as part of the ongoing investigation into Murphy’s alleged murder, but were unsuccessful in finding her body.

Murphy said he knew something was amiss on the Sunday in February when Samantha failed to return from a morning trail run, because her routines were “like clockwork”.

“On that particular day, I was outside and thought she’ll be coming up the road pretty soon,” he said.

“Then she didn’t.

“I just thought, ‘Ah well, she might’ve gone a bit longer’. I went outside and said to the kids, ‘Has mum come home yet?’ and they said no. I thought that was a bit odd.”

Murphy told the program he and Samantha met at a pub in Gordon, near Geelong and hit it off immediately.

“We were friends for a period of time and one thing led to another,” he said.

“We soon lived together.

“We’ve always had our own drive to always be successful, we’ve always worked hard.

“Life was really good and then this came into our lives.”

Mick and Samantha shared a ‘good life’ together. Photo: 9News

Their 27th wedding anniversary passed on February 21, weeks after Samantha disappeared on February 4.

He said it was hard to comprehend that “someone so good” was gone.

“[She] is an incredibly smart and wonderful woman … was kind, caring, loyal and would always offer to help anyone at any time,” Mick said.

“You won’t hear a bad word about her, she was a good mother, caring and always providing for everybody.

“She was always smiling and happy and we want people to remember Sam for who she was. Anyone who knows her knows what she’s like.”

“It’s hard for someone so good to be gone [from] the community”.

‘Stop killing women’: Rally

Murphy joined a rally against gendered violence on Friday evening held in reaction to three recent killings in the Ballarat community.

Women, men and children voiced their rage over the deaths of Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire who all allegedly died at the hands of men in the past two months.

Murphy was allegedly murdered by 22-year-old tradesman Patrick Orren Stephenson after leaving her Ballarat home for a run on the morning of February 4.

“I just want to take the opportunity to thank the community of Ballarat for getting behind us, out in the bush searching for Sam every day,” he said.

“It’s just unbelievable.”

Ballarat mother-of-six Rebecca Young was allegedly stabbed to death by her partner on February 16.

He took his own life in a suspected murder-suicide at their Sebastopol home.

Young’s sister Jessica Young described the event as bittersweet.

While it was too late to save her sister, she said awareness raised by the rally could help save others.

“Rebecca should still be here today,” she said.

“Violence against women is never OK.

“I will always love and miss my beautiful big sister.

“Fly high Bec.”

Young’s mother Tracey remembered her daughter as “the most incredible person” – beautiful, funny and kind.

“You never think that your baby would have to endure so much violence,” she said.

The body of 23-year-old Hannah McGuire was found in a burnt-out car at Scarsdale, about 25km south of Ballarat, on April 5, with 21-year-old Lachlan Young charged with her murder.

McGuire’s friends cried as their statement was read out at the rally, describing her as an amazing woman, friend and support.

“You will forever be a little sister to me … you were my hype girl,” the statement said.

“Heaven has gained an angel – goodbye for now.”

Tributes have been flowing for Hannah McGuire. 23. Photo: Supplied

Organiser Sissy Austin, who was herself savagely attacked while on a run in 2023, said the turnout was an incredible show of support for the families of Samantha Murphy, Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire.

“Families who are experiencing unimaginable grief, loss and sorrow,” she said.

“We’re here to fight for our rights to live safely in our community for generations to come,” she previously told AAP.

Austin said the three killings in little more than two months had stunned the community.

“Women are living on eggshells,” she said.

Men, women and children gathered in Ballarat to rally against violence in their community. Photo: AAP

Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates praised the incredible show of support as crowds wrapped around the streets.

“We’re here in love and support, but we’re also here with a good dose of rage, a lot of anger,” she said.

Federal Ballarat MP Catherine King said violence against women needed to stop.

“It is a responsibility that we all share but let’s be frank – men need to change,” she said.

One in four Australian women and roughly one in 14 men have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner since age 15, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

-with AAP

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