Missing mum, Samantha Murphy: Husband explains silence, Search continues

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The husband of a missing mum has revealed the reasons why he has stayed out of the spotlight during the high-profile search for his wife.

Samantha Murphy, 51, has not been seen since Sunday when she left her East Ballarat home for a run through the Canadian State Forest and never returned.

Until now, her husband Michael Murphy has had very little to say on his wife’s disappearance, making only very brief remarks to local media.

However, he has now revealed the reasoning behind his silence.

“I’ve been speaking with the police and I’ve been advised not to say anything,” he told the Herald Sun on Wednesday.

He said he is aware of malicious comments being shared online but said he is more concerned with the urgency of finding his wife.

“I’m doing OK, it’s just a whole time thing,” he said.

Ms Murphy’s daughter has since hit out on social media in regards to “malicious” remarks surrounding her disappearance.

“You have no idea what you are talking about,” Ms Murphy’s daughter wrote on Facebook.

“Be quiet and think before you post.”

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.

Mr Murphy arrived at the dirt road entrance of the state forest after the discovery was made before speaking with police.

He did not appear to leave his vehicle and was only at the scene for a short time before he drove away.

On Tuesday, he spoke briefly with the Herald Sun to say his wife ran the 20km route through the forest daily but was concerned as the search effort wore on.

“It’s just up in the air, we don’t know,” he said.

“It’s just a whole time thing at the end of the day.”

Investigators released fresh footage on Wednesday in the hopes someone may be able to come forward with more information.

The footage shows the keen jogger running past homes on her way to the Canadian State Forest for her regular daily run.

It was captured at about 7.16am Sunday on Eureka St in Ballarat East, near the intersection of Warrenheip Rd.

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.

Local resident Donne Crouch on Wednesday morning raised concerns about an unusual feature in the forest.

“That’s the biggest concern, that there are mineshafts out there that aren’t very noticeable in some areas,” he told Nine.

Ms Murphy’s husband told the Herald Sun his wife runs in the area daily but said he was worried as time wears on.

“It’s just up in the air, we don’t know,” he said.

“It’s just a whole time thing at the end of the day.”

A major search operation is entering its fifth day, involving local police, officers from the Dog Squad, the mounted branch, and Air Wing.