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A young woman found dead in a burnt-out car close to where missing mum Samantha Murphy vanished had feared for her safety, a source has claimed – as the community rally around her family. 

The body of Hannah McGuire, 23, from Clunes was discovered near State Forest Rd, close to Scarsdale, south-west of Ballarat in Victoria, shortly before 10am on Friday, April 5.

Victoria Police arrested two men from Sebastopol, aged 21 and 22, on Sunday afternoon. 

The 21-year-old remains in custody but the 22-year-old has been released. 

Hannah McGuire: Clunes, Ballarat woman had ‘feared for her safety’ before she was found dead in a burnt-out car

The body of Hannah McGuire, 23, from Clunes, was discovered south-west of Ballarat, Victoria in a burnt-out wreck 

Police found the body of a 23-year old woman in a burnt-out wreck on State Forest Road (pictured) on Friday

Police found the body of a 23-year old woman in a burnt-out wreck on State Forest Road (pictured) on Friday 

The body of a 23-year-old woman has been found near a bushland track, leading to the arrests of two men

The body of a 23-year-old woman has been found near a bushland track, leading to the arrests of two men

A neighbour of one of those men told Daily Mail Australia on Monday that Ms McGuire had lived with one of those arrested and had recently moved out. 

‘Just he and her lived there. But she moved out about a week ago,’ he said. 

A source told Daily Mail Australia the break-up had been messy, with claims the young victim had only recently sought an intervention order against her estranged partner. 

It is understood the woman’s boyfriend had lived in the Sebastopol property for just over a year, with his parents living in a house a mere stone’s throw away. 

Several neighbours said they had shared ‘drinks’ with the woman’s boyfriend and found him to be a likeable person. 

The woman's body was found on State Forest Rd, near Scarsdale (pictured), in regional Victoria on Friday

The woman’s body was found on State Forest Rd, near Scarsdale (pictured), in regional Victoria on Friday

Police attend the Sebastopol home of a person connected to the alleged murder

Police attend the Sebastopol home of a person connected to the alleged murder 

But others claimed to have been cautious of the man amid allegations he was a ‘hoon’. 

‘I would see him – a young bloke – he would do burnouts up and down the street,’ a nearby neighbour said. 

Those claims were supported by several other neighbours, who claimed the man routinely performed skids outside their homes. 

While none reported any signs of domestic violence coming from within the property, several expressed concerns over the number of young people visiting it at all hours. 

Police tape remained outside the address on Monday afternoon

Police tape remained outside the address on Monday afternoon 

The woman's body had been found in a remote area

The woman’s body had been found in a remote area 

Another neighbour said the property had been routinely visited by youths, who gathered in the backyard and a large garage in the backyard. 

It is there where Homicide Squad detectives are believed to have pounced on the men on Sunday. 

‘I heard a woman shouting “leave him alone”,’ another neighbour said. 

The dead woman had been reported missing by a member of her family on Friday morning. 

Firefighters found the woman’s remains in a burnt-out car about 10am and it is believed she had already been killed.

On Monday, police released the 22-year-old while the 21-year-old continues to help  with their enquiries. 

It’s the latest tragedy to rock Ballarat following the alleged murder of Ms Murphy.

Police arrested the mother’s alleged murderer, 22-year-old Patrick Stephenson, last month but have still to locate her remains.

Ms Murphy disappeared while on a morning jog on February 4. Police allege she was killed that day in Mt Clear, 15km from where the latest woman’s body was found.

Anyone with information on this latest case should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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