/ 21 March 2024

A new search all for naught

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

Victorian Police failed to find the body of Ballarat woman Samantha Murphy yesterday after a significant new search. Earlier in the day, investigators began trawling through the Buninyong Bushland Reserve south of Ballarat, following what they said was “intelligence derived from a number of sources”. Despite specialist units being called in, the search was called off just after 2pm after coming up short. Regardless, Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt says police are “committed to doing everything we can to locate her and return her to her family”. To recap – Samantha’s been missing since 4 February, when she set out on a morning run from her Ballarat home. Then, earlier this month, Patrick Stephenson – a 22yo from the neighbouring town of Scotsburn – was charged with her murder. Samantha’s “distraught” husband Mick has appealed to Stephenson to start cooperating with police. Stephenson is in custody and will appear at Ballarat Magistrates’ Court on 8 August. 

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