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Urgent plea for teen’s final movements

Written by on May 15, 2024

The Victorian Coroner has renewed his push for information about a young man found dead on a riverbank a year ago, in the hopes of drawing out witnesses to the tragic case.

Jodus Tenetahi Murphy, 18, was last seen alive in Seymour, more than 100 kilometres north of his Melbourne home on May 15, 2023.

Victorian Coroner John Olle has issued a call for help in piecing together the teenager’s final movements, on the anniversary of his disappearance.

Two days after the last sighting a man withdrew cash from Mr Murphy’s account, via an ATM in Seymour.

“Victoria Police have identified the male captured on CCTV making the withdrawals and confirmed it was not Jodus,” Coroner Olle said in a statement.

Four weeks later Mr Murphy’s body was found on the banks of the Goulburn River.

Mr Murphy lived in the southeast Melbourne suburb of Seaford.

In the early hours of Friday May 12, 2023, he left home where he lived with his mother and siblings. His family reported him missing to police two days later and a missing persons investigation began.

On the Sunday, CCTV recorded Mr Murphy at the Seymour Railway Station. He asked two men when the next train to Murchison – further north away from Melbourne – was. There was no train that night and one of the men offered Mr Murphy a bed for the night.

The Herald Sun reported Mr Murphy was given methamphetamines and xanax at the house.

The next morning, May 15, he left the house and three unrelated witnesses saw him in the vicinity Abdallah Road, Tarcombe Road, Kennedy Court and surrounding streets in Seymour.

These are the last reported sightings of Mr Murphy alive.

Two days later the man withdrew the cash.

Four weeks later Mr Murphy’s body was found. Police said at the time the death was not suspicious.

“He was such a good kid, so for him to just go out there to a place he’s never been before and stay at someone’s house that he’s not even met before, do drugs he’s never done before, it’s just so out of character,” his sister-in-law told the Herald Sun at the time.

In the months after his body was found, police were searching for bags containing clothes, his passport, wallet and a distinctive water bottle which he had been carrying.

The last known image of him show he was wearing black trackpants, a dark black and blue hoodie and carrying two bags.

The Coroner urges anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.