THE family of murdered Tamworth mother Johann Morgan has welcomed the 24-year prison sentence for her murderer, but say they won’t get “absolute closure” until her body has been found.
Troy Jason Ruttley was jailed for 24 years for the 2015 murder of Ms Morgan, in front of a packed public gallery in the NSW Supreme Court in Tamworth, on Tuesday morning.
Ruttley remained emotionless in the dock as Justice Anthony Payne delivered his 44-minute sentencing remarks.
There were cries from the gallery as one family member shouted, “love you, dad” in support of Ruttley.
Ruttley has maintained his innocence since he was arrested by Tamworth detectives in Dubbo in December, 2015, over the August 9, 2015 murder of 40-year-old Ms Morgan.
Ruttley had his sentenced backdated to his arrest, and will be eligible for parole in 2033.
Despite extensive police searches, Ms Morgan’s body has never been found.
Outside court, Ms Morgan’s family said they could not feel closure until she was brought home.
I'll have a lot of closure when I get her back.- Vivienne Morgan
"We really just want her, that's all," her son Michael Morgan said.
"That's all we want, our mother, bring her home to us. It’s good enough, but all we wanted was our mother.”
Ms Morgan’s sister Vivienne Morgan said the sentence provided some closure to her murder.
"I just miss her so much," she said.
"We just want to take her home and get her back. I'll have a lot of closure when I get her back.”
Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd said the sentence was a "very welcomed outcome", and vowed to continue searching for Ms Morgan’s body.
"We don't discount the fact that someone may know where Johann is, so we're going to appeal to the public if anyone knows or has information on where Johann might be, we would greatly appreciate that information and that would finally give the family some absolute closure,” he said.
Ruttley was found guilty of murder in July, after less than two days of deliberations by the jury.
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