Grim milestone for Samantha Murphy’s husband

Michael Murphy spoke at a vigil in Ballarat on Friday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui

The grieving husband of slain mum-of-three Samantha Murphy has revealed his heartache at marking their 27th wedding anniversary as he continues to grieve for his “kind, caring, loyal” wife.

Michael Murphy’s comments about his wife come as he revealed the couple would have celebrated the happiest day of their life on February 21, some 27 years ago.

But in a tearful tribute he said the pain was unbearable and it was difficult to believe “someone so good” was gone.

Ms Murphy’s body remains missing three months after she vanished during a morning jog.

“(She) is an incredibly smart and wonderful woman … was kind, caring, loyal and would always offer to help anyone at any time,” he told 9News.

Samantha Murphy with her husband Michael. Picture: Supplied/9News
Michael Murphy marked his 27th wedding anniversary with Ms Murphy on February 21. Picture: Supplied/9News

“You won’t hear a bad word about her, she was a good mother, caring and always providing for everybody.

“She was always smiling and happy and we want people to remember Sam for who she was. Anyone who knows her knows what she’s like.”

Mr Murphy teared up, then added: “It’s hard for someone so good to be gone (from) the community.”

Ms Murphy, 51, was last seen about 7am on February 4 after leaving her Ballarat home to go on a morning run.

Police allege she was killed on the same day, but her body has yet to be recovered.

Michael Murphy said his wife Samantha Murphy was a ‘wonderful woman’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui

Patrick Orren Stephenson, 22, has been charged with her murder.

Officers returned to Enfield State Park on Friday after new “intelligence” directed them to search the section of bushland for Ms Murphy’s body on Thursday.

Mr Murphy said his wife functioned like “clockwork”, so he knew something was wrong when she failed to return home.

After calling her mobile, with no answer, he notified police and began searching in nearby bushland.

Three months later, he said he had not stopped searching for his wife, whom he first met at a pub in Gordon, near Geelong.

“On that particular day, I was outside and thought she’ll be coming up the road pretty soon,” he said.

“Then she didn’t.

It has been three months since Samantha Murphy vanished.
It has been three months since Samantha Murphy vanished.

“I just thought, ‘Ah well, she might’ve gone a bit longer.’ I went outside and said to the kids, ‘Has mum come home yet?’ and they said no. I thought that was a bit odd.”

Mr Murphy searches every day for his wife, either by driving through town or spending two hours walking through a pine plantation.

“Sometimes I go for a drive and it might not be anywhere particular, or I go for a walk for two hours. It varies every day,” he said.

“It’s very good for my mind and if I sat at home I wouldn’t do myself any favours.”

Mr Murphy will not rest until his wife’s body is found.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” he said.