The husband of a missing Victorian mother has spoken, saying “people just don’t vanish into thin air” as the search enters its fifth day.
Samantha Murphy was last seen leaving her home on Eureka St, Ballarat East for a planned 20km run near the Canadian State Forest at 7am on Sunday and has not been seen since.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Friend of mum who vanished on a run speaks out.
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On Thursday, Murphy’s husband Mick and her daughter Jess said at a press conference that “someone has got to know something”.
“People just don’t vanish into thin air. You know, whether it be any little thing that you might think is relevant, just call the police, let them know,” Mick said.
“You know, it’ll give us a bit of peace of mind if we get some hope.
“If you can respect our privacy too. If we’ve got something we will come out and say it.”
Samantha Murphy’s husband Mick and daughter Jess. Credit: 7NEWS
Jess then spoke through tears, saying her “mum is a really strong woman and is far too determined to give up this fight”.
“I know she’s out there somewhere, so if you could please continue to search for her to give us something to work with we would really appreciate it.
“Mum, please come home soon I can’t wait to see you and give you the biggest hug and to tell you off for giving us so much stress. I love you.”
Police also spoke for the first time about the search and urged the community to come forward with any information at all, as anything could be relevant.
“We’re keeping an open mind and we’re hopeful,” Acting Inspector Lisa McDougall said.
“There are no suspicious circumstances that we have identified at this stage.”
Samantha Murphy went for a run on Sunday morning and has not been seen since. Credit: 7NEWS
Murphy’s friend of more than a decade, Virginia O’Loughlan, spoke to Sunrise on Thursday and said her family and friends were trying to remain as positive as possible.
“It’s just an absolute nightmare, rollercoaster at the moment. Just continuously walking, looking for Sam, trying to get the word out there,” she said.
O’Loughlan said Murphy was an “amazing” mother to her three children, extremely family oriented and had only recently returned to long-distance running.
“I was only speaking to Mick (Murphy’s husband) the week before last. He was just so proud of her, telling me that Sam’s back running again,” she said.
“Sam is extremely fit. She is the most strong woman I know and I am not just talking about mind, I’m also talking about body, as well.”
The friend said Murphy had a brunch planned for the day she went missing and described her as a “sensible person” who would not venture off the main running track to run into the forest.
O’Loughlan’s condemnation of the trolling comes as Murphy’s family also hit back, with a Facebook comment, saying anyone questioning Samantha’s husband Mick Murphy, “need not worry”.
Police have released two CCTV images of Samantha Murphy – one showing the mother leaving her home on Sunday morning (left) and one showing her jogging past a house just 16 minutes later (right). Credit: Victoria Police
“He is in more pain than anyone and would be the last person to suspect in any of this,” the post read.
Late on Wednesday, police released grainy footage of Samantha captured by the security camera of a nearby house just 16 minutes after Samantha left her own home in a bid to move the investigation along.
But the CCTV video shows who police believe is her running past a house near Warrenheip Rd in a northeasterly direction — away from the forest that has so far been the focus of the investigation.
On Wednesday, a crime scene was established just 500m from Murphy’s Ballarat East home after several items of interest were discovered.
Murphy’s husband Mick arrived at that scene, remaining in his car and speaking to police officers through the window before driving off.
SES crews during the search. Credit: 7NEWS
The crime scene was dismantled within a few hours after police confirmed the items were unrelated to her disappearance.
After she went missing on Sunday, a CCTV image was released by police showing Samantha Murphy leaving the home wearing black half-length leggings and a brown singlet.
Residents who live in the surrounding areas have been urged to review any security footage they have from between 7am and 11am on Sunday.
An extensive search involving the SES, search and rescue teams and mounted police entered its fifth day on Thursday.
The search so far has focused on the Canadian State Forest area and nearby Mount Helena, east of Geelong Rd.
Over the course of the search police have so far only uncovered one clue — Murphy’s mobile phone pinging at a telecommunications tower 11km from her home.
However, in a Facebook post a family member said: “Samantha’s phone pinging that far away from home is not usual. Yes, she walked in different directions, but she kept to the paths, never went for more than 10k total roughly and would let family know if she was walking further.”
Rough terrain has made the search difficult and locals said there were mine shafts in the area, which are difficult to see.
Murphy is Caucasian, about 173cm tall, with a slim build and shoulder-length blonde hair.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact police.