Mystery over mum found dead after failing to collect kids from school

Homicide detectives are investigating the mystery over a woman found dead in a garage after failing to pick her children up from school.

The body of Samantha Fraser, 38, was found at a property on Seagrove Way, in the Victorian seaside town of Cowes on Phillip Island, about 4.30pm on Monday after police were called to check on her welfare.

The alarm was raised after she failed to pick up her three children, two girls and a boy, from a local primary school.

Seagrove Way in Cowes, where a woman was found dead at a property. Source: Google Maps
Seagrove Way in Cowes, where a woman was found dead at a property. Source: Google Maps

Investigators have spoken to a 42-year old Paynesville man who was known to Ms Fraser, but he was released without charge and enquiries are ongoing.

Based on the circumstances of her death, police strongly believe it to be suspicious and it will now be investigated by detectives from the Homicide Squad.

Police are also investigating whether there was any interference with the crime scene.

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 subsequently failed to show up for.

Police are attempting to piece together her movements between 11am and 3.30pm on July 23.

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 dashcam footage taken on Monday at Phillip Island in the vicinity of Seagrove Way or around Seagrove Way and San Remo on the mainland.

The death has rocked the seaside town of Cowes on Phillip Island. Source: Google Maps
The death has rocked the seaside town of Cowes on Phillip Island. Source: Google Maps

Neighbour Toni Smith told the Herald Sun Ms Fraser’s parents had been living at the home with their daughter and her three children but were overseas when she died.

Ms Smith said Ms Fraser was a “sweetie”.

“I would sometimes pop over for a coffee. She was beautiful,” she said.

Alice Bradley, who works with Ms Fraser at Cowes Medical Centre, told the Herald Sun the death was “an absolute shock”.

“She was incredibly kind, nurturing and talented,” she said.

Ms Fraser had worked at the medical centre as a psychologist for two years.

A friend said on Facebook Ms Fraser was “so beautiful inside and out”.

“Our coffee date last week will be treasured forever,” she wrote.

Other devastated friends are raising money for her children following the tragic death.

“Her family and our community are devastated by her loss,” a friend wrote on Facebook.

More than $10,000 has already been raised for Ms Fraser’s family.

Anybody with information or CCTV footage from the area is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000 or lodge a report online.

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