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Campers stumbled across burnt-out campsite, jury told

More than 2100 bone fragments were found in the search for campers Carol Clay and Russell Hill.

More than 2100 bone fragments were found in the search for campers Carol Clay and Russell Hill. Photo: AAP

A pink handbag and wallets with missing cards were found at a fire-blackened campsite a day after Russel Hill and Carol Clay were allegedly murdered, a jury has been told.

Clay, 73, and Hill, 74, were camping together in Victoria’s Wonnangatta Valley when they disappeared in March 2020.

Greg Lynn is accused of killing the couple at Bucks Camp on March 20 and then dumping their remains in bushland on the Union Spur Track near Dargo.

The 57-year-old man, who was a Jetstar captain at the time, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and is on trial at the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

Camper Andrew Marquardt told the jury he found Mr Hill’s unattended white Toytota LandCruiser at a burnt-out campsite on March 21, 2020.

He saw the charred remains of a camp fire and the ute had been partially blackened by fire, Marquardt said.

He told the jury when he went closer to the vehicle, he saw a pink handbag on the passenger side and there was an Esky with food that “didn’t look old or foul”.

Marquardt also reported seeing some damage to the passenger’s side mirror although there was no further damage to any of the windows or windscreen.

He took photos of the campsite and later reported what he had seen to police.

Another camper, Nicholas Linden, also stumbled across the campsite on March 25.

He told the jury it was “out of the ordinary” and he was initially worried someone had set up their fire too close to their tent and was killed.

When he realised there were no remains in the fire and no one nearby, Linden left the scene and reported the incident to police.

Leading Senior Constable Christopher Skiba was one of the first officers to attend the Bucks Camp site.

He told the jury there was a handbag and wallets inside the ute, and there was no cash or credit cards located.

Sen Const Skiba said the car was still operational and had an adequate amount of fuel.

“It started with no problems at all,” Skiba said.

The jury was told Hill and Clay died on March 20 after an argument between Lynn and  Hill about hunting and the latter’s drone.

Hill had threatened to send footage of Lynn deer hunting close to Bucks Camp to police, defence barrister Dermot Dann KC said.

He said a scuffle ensured after Hill took a gun from Lynn’s vehicle and Clay was accidentally shot by Hill.

The barrister asserted Hill then came at Lynn with a knife, and was accidentally stabbed in the chest as Lynn was trying to defend himself.

Lynn then burned Clay and Hill’s campsite, put their bodies in his trailer and dumped them on the remote Union Spur Track, near Dargo.

The trial continues.

– AAP

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