Investigation continues into disappearance of Samantha Murphy – Ballarat East

Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad will today assume primacy of the investigation into the disappearance of Ballarat east woman Samantha Murphy.

They will continue to work in conjunction with local police, as they have done since the early stages of her disappearance, as part of the effort to locate Samantha.

The specialist detectives will manage the investigation into her disappearance and will be embedded alongside local police, who will continue to lead the search.

While no sinister factors have been identified in Samantha’s disappearance at this time, there are significant concerns given it has now been six days without her being sighted or any signs of her current whereabouts.

The 51-year-old was last seen leaving her property on Eureka Street to go for a run, about 7am Sunday, 4 February.

However, as concerns for her welfare continue to grow, Missing Persons Squad will formally take over the investigation into the matter with the ability to expand resourcing from specialist investigative units across Crime Command.

This search is comprised of local police, along with personnel from the Search and Rescue Squad, Mounted Branch and Dog Squad, plus significant assistance from members of the SES and CFA.

Police, with assistance from a number of other agencies, have conducted a search in the Canadian Forest area where Samantha was known to regularly run.

Following further information about possible run routes, on Wednesday 7 February the search moved to the nearby Mount Helen area to the east of Geelong Road.

The search for Samantha will continue today.

Police are again releasing two images of Samantha in the hope someone recognises her and can provide any information about her movements since Sunday.

One of the images was captured on her home CCTV system before she left for her run on the Sunday morning.

On Wednesday, police released CCTV footage of a woman believed to be Samantha running along Eureka Street.

However a member of the public subsequently came forward to say it was them in the footage and not Samantha.

Police are urging everyone in the Ballarat East and Mount Helen areas, particularly around the Canadian Forest, to check their CCTV for any possible sightings over the past six days.

Detectives are also urging anyone travelling through the area, particularly between 7am and 7pm on the Sunday, who may have dash-cam footage to also check this for possible sightings.

A number of items have been located during the search for Samantha, however these have since been assessed and at this time are not believed to be related to her disappearance.

Police and family have significant concerns for Samantha’s welfare due to the length of time she has been missing and her disappearance is considered extremely out of character.

Samantha is described as Caucasian, about 173cm tall with a slim build and shoulder-length blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing black half-length leggings and a maroon/brown coloured singlet.

Anyone who sights Samantha is urged to contact triple zero (000) immediately.

Anyone with any other information about Samantha’s current whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at

Quotes attributable to Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt, Crime Command:

“I want to be clear that at this time, we have nothing immediate to indicate there is anything sinister behind Samantha’s disappearance. We still have a number of avenues of enquiry to pursue and the search to try and locate her is ongoing today. I also think it’s important that people avoid unnecessary and unhelpful speculation. However it is especially concerning that we have now gone six days without any contact from her or any potential sightings.

“Police are continuing to work with telecommunications technicians in order to try and ascertain any locations where Samantha may have travelled through. However we remain keen to speak to anyone who may have seen Samantha or someone fitting her description either on Sunday or since then. Again, I also ask people to review their CCTV and dashcam in order to see if there are any possible sightings of her that have been captured.

“Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad have significant experience in the investigation of disappearances such as Samantha’s and have had involvement in a large number of complex bushland searches for missing people. We have been monitoring this matter since the first report on Sunday and have also actively provided our expertise to local police during the search. As a specialist unit, we will lead the investigation component and continue to work alongside experienced local police and other areas within Victoria Police in the hope we can locate Samantha as soon as possible.

“I know this is an incredibly difficult times for her family and friends, who are without answers and no doubt struggling to understand what has happened. I urge anyone who may have information critical to this investigation to please come forward and contact police or Crime Stoppers.”

/Public Release. View in full here.