A son of missing traveller Ruth Ridley has told of his pain at losing his mother to a suspected murder-suicide involving his father.
Nathan Ridley appeared on television's A Current Affair on Wednesday and spoke of the trauma of facing the realisation his father Gary Ridley is likely to have killed his mother in the Murray in October 2019.
"It tore me apart inside because I didn't want to believe that that was what he would do to her," Nathan said.
Police believe Mr Ridley, whose body was found close to Pikes Dam near Shelley, is responsible for his wife's death and will advise the coroner as such.
Searches by police at Neils Bend campground near Walwa last year failed to find Mrs Ridley's body with Nathan telling of the sorrow at not being able to have certainty.
"We have a tree that we have engraved her name into, that's all we've got," Nathan said, referencing a carving on a trunk at Neils Bend a short distance from the Murray River.
Viewers heard Mrs Ridley, a mother of three and grandma, had suffered violence from her husband, a former policeman, and planned to leave him, while he was trying to be harmonious.
"I think Gary was being an extremely nice person to her again," Nathan said.
"I believe that the week leading up to that point it was like as if they were back being a loving couple.
"The thing was mum didn't want to be that loving couple anymore."
Nathan told A Current Affair he did not want his mother forgotten and described her as "the most amazing, loving mum that you could imagine".
Wodonga policeman Detective Leading Senior-Constable Andrew Leonard said a brief had been handed over to the coroner in Victoria for consideration.
Tumbarumba-based Snowy Valleys shire councillor Bruce Wright said Mrs Ridley had worked at the local IGA supermarket.
"She was well known and very well liked," he said.
"I watched A Current Affair last night and you've got to feel sorry for those kids because they're the most hurt (by this) and they know their dad has done something awful.
"Everybody feels for families like that."