Sarah Murphy: Blow in search for missing Ballarat mum

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The search for a missing mum for Victoria has been dealt a blow after police said items found in bushland near her home were not relevant to the rescue efforts.

Samantha Murphy, 51, 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.

Meanwhile, in a message to social media the family of Ms Murphy has asked people to stop

“questioning Samantha’s husband,” in relation to her disappearance.

An image from a CCTV camera on a nearby home on the same street shows Ms Murphy jogging past at 7.16am.

She had told her husband she was heading out on her regular 20km run through the Canadian State Forest but has not been seen since.

On Wednesday, police said they had found items in bushland at Woowookarung Regional Park, one of the search sites.

An entrance to the park was temporarily blocked after the discovery of the items.

However, Victoria Police has now said that the items found were not connected to the search.

Police have said Ms Murphy’s disappearance is out of character as he ran regularly and knew the surrounding bushland well.

‘Questioning Samantha’s husband’

But the temperatures on Sunday, in the mid-thirties, is of concern. The area is also host to a number of disused mine shafts.

A Find Samantha Murphy Facebook page has been set up.

Late on Wednesday night, a member posted a message reportedly form the family of Ms Murphy thanking people for their efforts in the search.

“We are holding up as strong as we can emotionally and physically. We pray that Samantha comes home soon safe and sound. We all miss her dearly.

“We have worked with authorities to give any information and have/had tried all techniques to find her that’s possible currently.”

The post added that: “For those questioning Samantha’s husband (Michael Murphy), you need not worry. He is in more pain than anyone and would be the last person to suspect in any of this”.

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 on Sunday.

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.”

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