Samantha Murphy: The four words that give hope to Ballarat mum’s family that cops believe she could still be found alive – as they swoop to arrest man, 22

Four simple words in a new police statement offer a glimmer of hope that missing Victorian mother Samantha Murphy could still be alive.

Ms Murphy left her home on Eureka Street in Ballarat East on February 4 to go jogging at Woowookarung Regional Park and has not been seen since.

Thursday morning’s statement said “anyone who sees Samantha” is asked to immediately call police at triple zero.

Missing persons detectives arrested a 22-year-old Ballarat man at his home about 6am on Wednesday in connection with the ‘suspicious disappearance’ of the mother of three.

Police say the man is still in custody, but no charges have been filed yet.

Samantha Murphy from Ballarat has been missing since February 4 after going jogging

Despite significant investigation and extensive searches of Canadian forestland, no trace of the 51-year-old has been found.

Police say there are no further updates at this stage and the investigation remains ongoing.

Police added that they have “also spoken to a number of people as part of this investigation.”

‘Detectives continue to appeal to anyone who has CCTV or dashcam footage and has not yet spoken to police to come forward.

‘Anyone with any other information about her disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.’

The police search for Ms Murphy was ‘scaled down’ shortly after her disappearance, with detectives saying they would only increase the search based on specific information.

But last month a community-led volunteer group continued the search, painstakingly scouring the bushland around Ballarat.

About 300 searchers, wearing hi-vis jackets, long trousers, backpacks and hats, gathered at Ballarat’s Eureka Stockade Memorial Park on February 24 with metal detectors and a sniffer dog.

On the morning she disappeared, CCTV footage showed the mother wearing a brown shirt and black mid-length leggings outside her home.

About an hour after she started jogging, phone records showed Ms Murphy reached the Mount Clear area, about seven kilometers from her home, but from there her path turns cold.

On February 8, eldest daughter Jess Murphy joined her father in a public appearance to urge anyone with information about her mother’s whereabouts to come forward.

In an emotional speech, Jess described her ‘mum’ as a ‘really strong woman’ who is ‘way too determined to give up this fight’.

“Mom, we love you so much and we miss you. We need you at our house. Please come home soon. I can’t wait to see you and give you the biggest hug when I do,” she said.

“And to thank you for causing us so much stress. I love you.’

Sharing his own impassioned plea, Mr Murphy said: “People don’t just disappear into thin air. Someone must know something.

“Whether it’s something small that you think is relevant, just call the police and let them know. It will give us a little peace of mind and hope.”