Russell Hill and Carol Clay: 55-year-old man charged with murders of Victorian campers | Victoria

A 55-year-old Melbourne man has been charged with the murders of Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

A crime scene has been established in the state’s alpine region with police focusing their efforts on finding the pair’s remains.

The man, from Caroline Springs, was charged on Thursday night with two counts of murder. He is due to face Sale magistrates court on Friday morning.

Victoria police assistant commissioner Bob Hill said investigators had allegedly discovered a crime scene within the great alpine region on Thursday morning.

“We’ve located a specific area and we will be establishing a search perimeter in the coming days and we are hopeful we will locate the remains of Mr Hill and Ms Clay,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday night.

“While this arrest is testament to months of dedication and tireless work by the missing persons squad detectives, this investigation is far from over.

“Forensic specialists will commence searching at that location in the coming days. I hope that we will be able to locate the deceased and provide closure to the families.”

Hill expressed his condolences to their families, saying “the past 20 months has been an incredibly difficult time for them”.

The accused has been in custody since his arrest on Monday night.

Specialist police swooped to make the arrest at a remote campsite in Arbuckle Junction, 280km north-east of Melbourne.

The 55-year-old’s four-wheel-drive has been seized but police are yet to track down his trailer.

Earlier on Thursday, Victoria police’s top cop said detectives believed the silver-coloured trailer was sold last year between March and July.

The chief commissioner, Shane Patton, speaking on 3AW radio appealed for anyone who had purchased a similar one at that time to come forward.

Hill and Clay were last heard from on 20 March 2020 while camping in the Victorian Alps.

Hill left his Drouin home a day earlier and picked up Clay from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota LandCruiser.

On 20 March, Hill – an experienced outdoorsman – made a call via high-frequency radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley.

Clay, a former Victorian Country Women’s Association president, told friends she was heading away and expected to return home on 28 or 29 March.

Investigators were told the couple was camping together at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.

Campers found Hill’s car destroyed by fire at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track on 21 March. The pair have not been seen or heard from since.

The article from the source


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