A woman, who police believe may have been murdered after her body was found dumped in a garage, has been remembered as a ‘devoted mother’ to her three children.
Samantha Fraser, 38, was found at her home on Seagrove Way in Cowes on Phillip Island, southeast of Melbourne, on Monday after she failed to pick up her three children from school.
Homicide detectives are investigating the death and whether there was any interference with the crime scene.
Ms Fraser had been working as a psychologist at the Cowes Medical Centre and colleague Alice Bradley paid tribute to her friend following the tragic news of her death.
She said the news devastated the tight-knit community.
“We’re all in shock. It’s just devastating. We don’t expect those sorts of things to happen in a small community, particularly to somebody so young and so loved,” Ms Bradley told 7 News.
Neighbours said Ms Fraser’s parents were living with their daughter and her three children, two girls and a boy, about a week before her death.
They were in New York visiting Ms Fraser’s brother when she died.
“She was kind and caring, generous with her time, a devoted mother,” Ms Bradley said.
“She lived for the children.”
Ms Bradley has also set up a Facebook page for people to donate money to Ms Fraser’s children.
A friend wrote on the page Ms Fraser was “so beautiful inside and out”.
“Our coffee date last week will be treasured forever,” she wrote.
Ms Fraser’s neighbour Toni Smith told the Herald Sun the mother was a “sweetie”.
“I would sometimes pop over for a coffee. She was beautiful,” she said.
Detectives have been told Ms Fraser dropped her children off at school on Monday morning and then had coffee with friends ahead of a midday appointment that she failed to show up for.
Police are attempting to piece together her movements between 11am and 3.30pm on Monday.
Investigators have spoken to a 42-year old Paynesville man who was known to Ms Fraser, but he was released without charge and enquiries were ongoing.
They are keen to speak to anyone who may have been seen entering the Seagrove Way property on the day Ms Fraser died, or who may have seen suspicious activity in the days leading up to her death.
Police are also calling for dash camera footage taken on Monday at Phillip Island in the vicinity of Seagrove Way or around Seagrove Way, and San Remo on the mainland.
Anybody with information or CCTV footage from the area is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000 or lodge a report online.