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Police Recover Key Items During Targeted Search In Samantha Murphy Case

Victoria Police are awaiting the results of forensic testing after recovering “items of interest” during a fresh search in the Samantha Murphy investigation. 

Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad discovered these items on Wednesday morning in Buninyong, south of Ballarat.

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“The area has been cordoned off and those items will now be forensically tested,” Victoria Police said. 

“At this stage we are not providing further information about the items until that testing has been completed.”

On Wednesday morning, police conducted a targeted search operation that involved divers, metal detectors, sniffer dogs, and excavators. 

On Thursday morning, police confirmed that the search operation in Buninyong had concluded, and teams would not be returning to the site. 

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Among the recovered items, officers were seen photographing and bagging a phone near the edge of a dam, south of Ballarat. 

Samantha Murphy, 51, was last seen alive on February 4 after leaving her home for a morning run. 

Despite extensive searches in areas where Murphy used to visit frequently, including Canadian Forest and Mount Clear, her body has not been found.

In March, a 22-year-old Scotsburn man, Patrick Orren Stephenson,  was arrested and charged with her murder. 

The investigation into Samantha Murphy’s disappearance remains ongoing.

Victoria Police continue to appeal for any information that may assist in solving this case. 

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