Samantha Murphy: Major update as 'items of interest' found in search for missing mum

The mother-of-three vanished without a trace in February with new evidence now being discovered.

The digger which was used on Wednesday to find the 'items of interest' (left) and a picture of Samantha Murphy (right).
Police have found 'items of interest' in the search for missing mum Samantha Murphy. Source: NCA NewsWire and Victoria Police

Police have found "items of interest" during their search for missing mum Samantha Murphy after recently renewing their efforts for evidence four months after her disappearance.

The items were found on Wednesday morning in Buninyong, a town 6km from Mount Clear where police allege she was killed the day she disappeared. The 51-year-old was last seen on February 4 leaving her home to go for a run.

The area has been cordoned off while the items are being forensically tested, Victoria Police confirmed on Wednesday afternoon. It's not been confirmed what the items are, however, it's understood one of the items concerns a phone.

"Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad have located some items of interest in Buninyong this morning during their search for Samantha Murphy," Victoria Police said in a statement. "The items were located during today’s targeted search, which involved investigators and other specialist units from across Victoria Police and assistance from the AFP."

"The investigation remains ongoing. Further information will be provided once we are in a position to do so. Police ask that members of the public do not attend the search at this time."

Ground search in Ballarat for missing woman Samantha Murphy.
Police asked the public not to participate in today's search. Source: NCA Newswire

Murphy was last seen leaving her Eureka St home about 7am of February 4 to go for a 14km run through the nearby Woowookarung Regional Park. Despite search efforts, no trace of Murphy has so far been found.

Patrick Orren Stephenson was later arrested and charged in March, accused of killing the mum-of-three in the Mount Clear area where he resides.

The discovery comes the same day authorities announced a "targeted search" was underway, with widespread searches from police and members of the public in the weeks following Murphy's disappearance ending with no result.

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