Missing Person Squad detectives, with the assistance of specialist police, are today returning to the Wonnangatta area as part of their ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Russel Hill and Carol Clay.
As a result of information obtained from previous searches, investigators will now focus their efforts back towards Wonnangatta, in particular along the Dargo High Plains Road, Cynthia Range Track ,Herne Spur Track and the Wonnangatta Track.
Missing Persons Squad detectives are being assisted by the Air Wing, Drone Unit, Search and Rescue and Parks Victoria in conducting detailed searches of roadways, tracks, campgrounds, rivers and cliffs.
Detectives continue to examine items located during a search of the Mount Hotham area on 14 April to determine if they have any relevance to the investigation.
Police believe Russell left his Drouin home on 19 March, collected Carol from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota Landcruiser, then travelled via Licola spending one night at Howitt High Plains before heading into Wonnangatta Valley on 20 March.
Russell was last heard from on 20 March via HF radio stating he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps when he made the call.
Campers found Russell’s vehicle with signs of minor fire damage at their campsite, which was completely destroyed by fire, near Dry River Creek Track in the Wonnangatta Valley on 21 March.
Missing Persons Squad detectives, with the assistance of specialist police, have conducted numerous searches in and around the Wonnangatta Valley over the last 12 months, however Russell and Carrol have not been located.
Investigators are also continuing to appeal to anyone who was in the Wonnangatta area around that time, including campers, 4×4 day trippers, hunters, fishermen or trail bike riders, regardless of whether they saw or heard anything.
Detectives are also keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of Howitt Plains and Zeka Spur Track on 19 or 20 March, and the Wonnangatta Valley and Wonnangatta Station between 20-24 March who has not yet made contact with police is urged to come forward.
Detectives have also established that Russell was camping alone with his Landcruiser in the area of the King Billy and Bluff Track between 11-13 March.
Police are keen to speak to anyone in that area on those dates.
Information was later received about sighting of an older person or pair in the Black Snake Creek, Eaglevale River crossing and the Ollies Jump area on 22-23 March, however have never been able to establish if this was the missing campers.
Detectives call for anyone in this area, any older couple who may be these persons, to also come forward.
Anyone who sights Russell or Carol is urged to contact triple zero (000) immediately.
Anyone with any other information regarding their disappearance or who has any CCTV or dashcam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log onto www.crimestoppersvic.com.au