Crucial new clue in missing camper case

Russell Hill and Carol Clay have not been seen since March 2020.

Russell Hill and Carol Clay have not been seen since March 2020. Photo: AAP

The driver of a blue four-wheel drive could hold the key to solving the mysterious case of two campers who disappeared in Victoria’s rugged high country.

Police on Monday released images of the vehicle – believed to be a mid- to late-1990s model Nissan Patrol – taken by a safety camera in the area.

Witnesses have reported several sightings of the vehicle, with police yet to pin down the driver or exclude them as a person of interest.

Leading investigator Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper believes it could be the breakthrough police need to solve the case.

“We could be one phone call away from solving this,” Detective Inspect Stamper said on Monday.

russell hill carol clay

A blue 4WD was spotted in the area where two campers vanished in Victoria’s rugged high country. Photo: AAP

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

Campers found Mr Hill’s fire-damaged car at their campsite, which was completely destroyed by fire, near Dry River Creek Track on March 21.

The pair have not been seen or heard from since.

Police believe the pair may have had an altercation with another camper at the campsite, possibly the driver of the blue 4WD.

“We believe from what we know from Russell and how passionate and how experienced he was – it made sense for him to go to a particular position [at the campsite],” Detective Inspector Stamper said.

“The position he actually chose, the only reason we can assume that Russell didn’t park in the best spot is potentially because someone was already there.”


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.