Police launch ‘significant search’ for missing mum based on fresh intelligence

The search for Ballarat mother Samantha Murphy has resumed in bushland, sparked by fresh intelligence.

Apr 11, 2024, updated Apr 11, 2024
Missing mother, feared murdered, Samantha Murphy. (Image: Supplied)

Missing mother, feared murdered, Samantha Murphy. (Image: Supplied)

A “significant search” of bushland at Enfield State Park will begin on Thursday to try to find her body, Victoria Police said.

Officers will focus on “an area highlighted by intelligence derived from a number of sources”, a spokesperson said.

Members of the public have been asked not to join the search.

The new search follows unsuccessful efforts in the Canadian State Forest over the past few months.

The 51-year-old was last seen leaving her home on Eureka Street to go for a run in the Canadian State Forest on the morning of February 4.

Police in March charged 22-year-old tradesman Patrick Orren Stephenson with the murder of Ms Murphy at Mount Clear on the day she went missing. He is to return to court in August.

He is the son of former AFL player Orren Stephenson, who played 15 games for Geelong and Richmond between 2012 and 2014.

Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt said police were focused on doing everything they could to return Samantha to her family.

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