Crucial new clue in missing camper case
Detectives investigating the mysterious case of two campers who vanished in Victoria’s rugged high country 20 months ago are searching for a car seen in the area.
They want to speak to the driver of the blue four-wheel drive – believed to be a mid to late 1990s model Nissan Patrol – or anyone who might have seen it at the time time.
Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, were last heard from on March 20, 2020, while camping in the Wonnangatta Valley.
Mr Hill left his Drouin home on March 19 and picked up Ms Clay from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota Landcruiser.
He was last heard from on March 20 when he made a call via HF radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps.
Ms Clay told friends she was heading away and expected to return home on March 28 or 29.
Investigators have been told they were camping together at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.
Campers found Mr Hill’s car with signs of fire damage at their campsite, which was completely destroyed by fire, near Dry River Creek Track on March 21.
The pair haven’t been seen or heard from since.
Investigators have long believed it is likely a third party was involved in their disappearance and are considering the theory there might have been a confrontation between the pair and another person.
They have released footage of the blue car.
“We have not been able to eliminate this blue four-wheel drive from our enquiries,” Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said in a statement on Sunday night.
“We have witness statements that put this blue vehicle and its trailer in the valley at the time Russell and Carol were there, and indeed near the spot that they had set up their camp.”
Detective Inspector Stamper said the families of Ms Clay and Mr Hill are still desperate for answers about what happened to them and why.
“Our investigators are doing all they can to try and get those answers for them,” he added.
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