The last time Samantha Kelly was seen was in CCTV footage captured at an ATM at a shopping area on January 20. It took 15 days for someone to report her missing.
BREAKING: Police have found a body west of Bendigo as they investigate the disappearance of missing mother Samantha Kelly.
Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Hughes said a person had led investigators to a dry creek bed in Shelbourne, west of Bendigo, late last night where they had located a blue tarpaulin containing what they believe to be a body.
Three people have been arrested over the disappearance of a Victorian mum who went missing three weeks ago, following searches of properties in Bendigo and Kangaroo Flat.
He said the tarpaulin had likely been there several weeks and had dirt shovelled onto it.
Investigations are ongoing as to whether the tarpaulin contains the missing woman’s remains.
“We can’t even say at this stage if there’s a body in [the tarpaulin, but] were working on the principle that there is,” he said.
“Members of my team spoke to relatives this morning to explain what we had and that there may be a possibility that this may be Samantha’s body.”
Detective Inspector Hughes said the creek bed was on private property but the landowner was unconnected with the investigation.
“We think it’s just an isolated location that’s been picked,” he said.
“Now the public is aware this is apparently a grave site I’m sure more information will come in.”
Samantha Kelly’s sister-in-law has posted to Facebook saying her remains have been discovered.
“Its with great heartbreak we let everyone know that Sammy Kelly has been found.
“Please respect our privacy at this time as i cant even begin to imagine how to handle this.”
9 News reports Mother-of-four Samantha Kelly, 39, was last seen at a shopping centre in kangaroo Flat on January 20; her brother reported her missing about two weeks later.
Three weeks later, police who say they have ‘grave concerns’ over her welfare have launched a murder investigation into her disappearance and have arrested three people in connection with their inquiries.
She missed her youngest child’s first birthday and her Facebook account, which she used frequently, has lain dormant, as have her bank accounts, leading police to suspect foul play.
Ms Kelly’s children are now in the care of her brother, Michael Kelly, who lives in NSW, and his partner.
Detective Senior Sergeant Shane O’Connell investigating the case said that police believed Samantha Kelly had met with foul play.
He said Ms Kelly was a prolific Facebook user and had not touched her social media accounts since on or about January 21. Her bank account or mobile phone also had not been used.
“We are gravely concerned for her safety and believe she may have met with foul play,” he said.
“She has four young children, the youngest one has turned one recently and she has missed that first birthday, which is very unusual and out of character for her.”
Senior Sergeant O’Connell said the length of time before police were told about Samantha’s disappearance had the potential to impact upon their investigation.
Yesterday three people were arrested in connection with her disappearance after the homicide squad and Bendigo detectives executed two search warrants at properties linked to the case.
No charges have so far been laid.
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