‘We need you at home’, daughter pleads to missing mum

Adrian Black and William Ton |

Volunteers have been searching for missing Ballarat mother Samantha Murphy.
Volunteers have been searching for missing Ballarat mother Samantha Murphy.

The tearful daughter of a Ballarat woman has pleaded for her mother’s safe return, as a days-long search continues.

Emergency crews and volunteers are looking for Samantha Murphy who disappeared on Sunday.

“Mum, we love you so much and we miss you, and we need you at home with us,” Ms Murphy’s eldest daughter Jess told a press conference in Ballarat on Thursday.

“Please come home soon, I can’t wait to see you and to give you the biggest hug.”

The 51-year-old was last seen leaving her Eureka Street home at Ballarat East about 7am on Sunday, to go for a run.

Her disappearance is out of character and Victoria Police are concerned for her welfare after temperatures reached 36C.

Crews continue to search East Ballarat, the Canadian Forest area and Mount Helen.

Victoria Police Acting Inspector Lisa Macdougall said no suspicious circumstances had been identified and locations with disused mine shafts had been struck from the search area.

Police released CCTV footage of a person running in the opposite direction of the search area, but on Thursday talked to that person and ruled the footage irrelevant.

Ms Murphy’s husband Mick thanked the local community for their support and appealed for more information on his wife’s whereabouts.

“People just don’t vanish into thin air,” Mr Murphy told reporters. 

“Someone’s got to know something … whether it be any little thing that you might think is relevant, call the police (and) let them know.” 

Daughter Jess also appealed to the community.

“Mum’s a really strong woman and she’s far too determined to give up this fight,” she said.

“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’d really appreciate it.”

A friend of Ms Murphy said she was an extremely dedicated mum and described the situation as an “absolute nightmare rollercoaster”.

“Sam is the most strong woman I know and I’m not just talking about mind, I’m also talking about body,” Virginia O’Loughlan told the Seven Network. 

“Sam is a fierce woman who will be doing whatever she can at the moment to make sure that she’s reunited with her family.”

Ms Murphy’s friend praised the community for their efforts in searching for the missing mum, saying she was a sensible person who would have stuck to the tracks.

“We need as many people as we can out there, whether it be on car, on foot, horseback, motorbike, just continually looking and just trying to work out where Sam would be,” she said.

MISSING WOMAN BALLARAT
SES personnel have been searching for Ms Murphy in the Ballarat area. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Police on Wednesday released more CCTV footage they said showed Ms Murphy running at 7.16am on Sunday near her home, heading towards Yankee Flat Rd.

Residents in the area have been asked to review any CCTV they have between 7am to 11am on Sunday.

Crews found some items on Wednesday but they were not believed to be related to Ms Murphy’s whereabouts.

Ms Murphy is Caucasian, about 173cm tall with a slim build and shoulder-length blonde hair. 

She was last seen wearing black half-length leggings and a maroon or brown singlet.

AAP