Man charged with murder of mother-of-three who vanished on morning run a month ago with ‘no trace’ of her found

7 March 2024, 09:17

A man has been charged with the murder of Samantha Murphy, who vanished without a trace while out for a jog more than a month ago.
A man has been charged with the murder of Samantha Murphy, who vanished without a trace while out for a jog more than a month ago. Picture: Facebook/Alamy

By Asher McShane

A man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-three who went missing in Australia.

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The man, 22, from the small town of Scotsburn, Victoria, was charged yesterday four weeks after Samantha Murphy went missing while on a morning run in Ballarat.

Her disappearance led to a massive search operation in bushland near the city but no trace of her has been found.

Police have said they are not looking for anyone else in relation to her disappearance.

Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton told reporters: “Anyone being told a loved one has been [allegedly] murdered is tragic. Doing everything to find Samantha's body is absolutely vital for the family.”

Samantha left her home to go for a run in Woowookarung Regional Park at about 7am on February 4.

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No trace of Ms Murphy has been found despite huge search efforts
No trace of Ms Murphy has been found despite huge search efforts. Picture: Facebook

She was captured on CCTV leaving home and has not been seen since.

Police said that a man had been arrested at his home in Scotsburn on Wednesday morning, and had been charged.

The man, 22, understood to be the son of a former AFL footballer, did not apply for bail during a court hearing yesterday. His next court appearance is in August.

Ms Murphy's husband, Mick, was informed by detectives of the latest development just before 2pm on Thursday (3am GMT).

Michael Murphy, husband of Samantha Murphy departs after speaking to media
Michael Murphy, husband of Samantha Murphy departs after speaking to media. Picture: Alamy

Samantha’s husband Mick Murphy described the weeks since his wife went missing as “s***house.”

He said he was hoping that police could ascertain the whereabouts of her body as soon as possible.

Speaking to reporters outside his home, he said: “The adrenaline with everything that’s been going on, it’s just, it’s trying to be brave for everybody,” he told reporters, explaining that it was a “relief” to see the case being resolved.

Detectives are seen at Michael Murphy's home
Detectives are seen at Michael Murphy's home. Picture: Alamy

“It’s something you wouldn’t want anybody to experience.”

“It is (a relief). Definitely. It’s like something has just let the pressure valve off sort of thing. It hasn’t been a good near on five weeks. Anyway, we’re doing as good as we can. Keeping a brave face.”

Mr Murphy said his family was “doing the best we can under the circumstances”.

Ms Murphy’s father, John ‘Pud’ Robson said: “I can only hope that he is the bloke responsible because that way, we might get a bit of closure.

Search crews gather in Buninyong near Ballarat last month
Search crews gather in Buninyong near Ballarat last month. Picture: Alamy

“You know, it’s sort of too late to think that she might still be alive.”

Hundreds of people joined the search effort for Ms Murphy but no trace has been found after many days.

Murder detectives joined the investigation on February 9.

Police last month indicated it was unlikely Ms Murphy was still alive and that “more parties” may have been involved in moving her from the local area.

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