‘I know she’s out there’: Daughter’s heartbreak over mum Samantha Murphy missing near Ballarat


The daughter of missing runner Samantha Murphy has fought back tears as she spoke out for the first time since her mum vanished five days ago.

On Thursday, eldest daughter Jess Murphy spoke to media with her father, Michael, to urge her community to not lose hope in the search for her mum.

“Mum’s a really strong woman and she’s far too determined to give up this fight,” she said.

Through tears, Jess bravely faced the media pack outside Ballarat West Police Station.

“I know she’s out there somewhere, so if you could please continue to search for her and give us something to work with we’d really appreciate it,” she said.

“Mum we love you so much and we miss you … please come home soon.”

Her father comforted her by stroking her back as she struggled to get the message out through her tears.

Jess continued: “I can’t wait to see you and to give you the biggest hug when I do.”

“And to tell you off for giving us so much stress . I love you,” she said.

She also asked media to stop taking photos of the family and going to their house.

The 51-year-old mother left her home on Eureka St in Ballarat East about 7am on Sunday but failed to return, raising concerns for her welfare as temperatures soared to 36C across the area.

Moments before Jess’ heartbreaking message, Ms Murphy’s husband urged the local community for information.

“People just don’t vanish into thin air. Someone’s got to know something,” Mr Murphy told media.

“Whether it be any little thing that you might think is relevant, just call the police and let them know.

“It’ll give us a bit of peace of mind, some hope.”

Mr Murphy also asked media and the community to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.

He said if the family knows anything they will make it public.

“Hopefully someone’s got something they can remember or they’ve seen and they can contact authorities,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy also thanked the community for their support, with food being provided for the worried family by concerned locals.

The search initially focused on the Canadian Forest — where Ms Murphy told her husband she was heading out on her regular 20km run — but this was thrown into disarray on Wednesday as a three second CCTV clip of Ms Murphy was found.

The footage captured Ms Murphy running past a house on Eureka St towards Yankee Flat Road, in the opposite direction of the forest, at 7.16am.

This was just 16 minutes after she is believed to have left for her run.

Acting Inspector Lisa McDougall told media the disappearance is not being treated as suspicious.

“There are no suspicious circumstances that we’ve identified at this stage,” she said.

Investigators have asked residents in the areas around Eureka St, Warrenheip Rd and Yankee Flat Rd to review their CCTV footage between 7am and 11am.

About 12.30pm on Wednesday, a crew searching a walking trail in nearby bushland at Woowookarung Regional Park found an “item of interest”, but police have since ruled it out.

“Items located today during the search for Samantha have been assessed and at this time are not believed to be related to her whereabouts,” police said in a statement.

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