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Search For Samantha Murphy Scaled Back As Investigation Continues

Police have announced a scaling back of the search for missing Ballarat woman Samantha Murphy, following extensive efforts to locate her body in bushland southwest of the city.

Yesterday, search crews focused on an area within Enfield State Park, approximately 30 kilometres from Ballarat, utilising cadaver dogs from the New South Wales Police Force for the first time.

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While a “targeted” search continued in the Ballarat area today, police declined to disclose the specific location. 

The decision to scale back the search comes amid ongoing efforts to gather evidence and information.

Ms Murphy, aged 51, was last seen leaving her residence in Ballarat East on Sunday, February 4, purportedly to go for a run. 

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Her disappearance has been met with the charge of murder against 22-year-old Patrick Orren Stephenson, who is set to appear in court again in August.

This case, alongside two other recent incidents involving the alleged killing of women by men in the Ballarat area, has prompted widespread concern and action within the community. 

In response, a local woman has organised a rally against men’s violence scheduled for Friday night.

The rally is set to commence with a mass walk from the town’s train station to Camp Street lawn, advocating for change and justice.

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