Homicide police are reportedly preparing to join the search for a missing Victorian mum as the desperate hunt for answers enters its sixth day.
Samantha Murphy was last seen leaving her Eureka St home at Ballarat East about 7am on Sunday to go for planned 20km run near the Canadian State Forest and has not been seen since.
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It has now been revealed that homicide investigators from the missing persons police unit could join the search on Friday.
They will look at a number of scenarios including whether foul play was involved.
Samantha Murphy was last seen leaving her Eureka St home at Ballarat East about 7am on Sunday. Credit: 7NEWS
On Thursday, police spoke for the first time about the search for the 51-year-old and urged the community to come forward with any information, 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.”
On Friday just before 9am, Murphy’s husband Mick was seen arriving at Buninyong police station with a coffee and speaking to officers outside before going inside.
Mick and daughter Jess also spoke at a press conference on Thursday, saying “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’s husband Mick. 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.”
Late on Wednesday, police released grainy footage of a woman believed to be Samantha, captured by the security camera of a nearby house just 16 minutes after she left her own home.
Samantha was last seen leaving her home in running gear. Credit: Victoria Police
The footage showed a woman running in the opposite direction of the forest that has so far been the focus of the investigation. However it was later revealed the CCTV did not show Samantha, but a different woman.
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.
Samantha’s daughter Jess spoke at a media conference on Thursday. 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.
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.