Update in search for missing mum as police probe mobile data

Nathan SchmidtNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

Police investigating the disappearance of missing mum Samantha Murphy will use mobile phone tower data to identify the movements of people in the area at the time.

Detectives will scour data from the Ballarat area in Victoria’s Central Highlands where the mother-of-three was last seen on the morning of February 4.

It is understood police will use the data to find out who was in the area before probing their backgrounds for potential new leads into the missing persons case.

Police will try a new tactic in the search for missing mother-of-three, Samantha Murphy.
Camera IconPolice will try a new tactic in the search for missing mother-of-three, Samantha Murphy. Credit: Supplied

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Officers previously used the mobile data of Ms Murphy’s phone which had reportedly helped police narrow down their search last month.

Earlier reports indicated Ms Murphy’s phone pinged off the Buninyong tower, south of the search area, at 5pm the day she went missing, though it has not been confirmed.

Ms Muprhy’s disappearance has baffled police and the local Ballarat community, and has quickly become one of the state’s highest priority missing persons cases.

The 51-year-old left her Eureka St home in Ballarat early in the morning of February 4 to go for an 14km run through the nearby Woowookarung Regional Park.

NED-11358 Samantha Murphy missing map

She is believed to have reached the Mount Clear area, adjacent to the park, about an hour after leaving home, but has not been seen or heard from since departing.

Police last month indicated it was unlikely Ms Murphy was still alive and that “more parties” may have been involved in moving her from the local area.

Victoria Police Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt from Crime Command said there was no evidence Mr Murphy had left on her own accord.

“Unfortunately given the time and the fact we have found no trace of her, we do have severe concerns and are very doubtful that she is still alive,” he said.

Camera IconA large-scale search of bushland was undertaken by volunteers. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Superintendent Hatt said police did not believe her husband Mick was a suspect, but would be probing “everyone that was in her life”.

Police have already combed through tens of thousands of hours of CCTV footage, as well as hundreds of information reports to officers.

The result has been a community left divided by “unfounded and salacious finger-pointing” according to people speaking with the Herald Sun.

Originally published as Update in search for missing mum as police probe mobile data

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails