Investigation into missing Wonnangatta campers continues

Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad and Wellington Crime Investigation Unit are continuing to appeal for information in relation to missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

It is believed Russell and Carol were camping at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.

Despite a number of searches over the past seven weeks, the pair have not been located and have not contacted family or friends.

These searches are expected to resume in the coming weeks depending on the weather.

Russell left his Drouin home on 19 March and planned to visit various campsites along the Dargo River with his route exiting the region at Dargo on 26 March.

He was last heard from on 20 March via HF radio and it has been confirmed he was at Wonnangatta Station in the Victorian Alps when he made the call.

Carol told friends she was heading away and was expecting to return home on 28 or 29 March.

Police believe the pair have travelled up through Heyfield and Licola, then into the valley in Russell’s vehicle, a white Toyota Landcruiser.

Campers found Russell’s vehicle with signs of minor fire damage at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track in the Wonnangatta Valley on 21 March.

The examination of the fire scene by arson chemists was inconclusive and police would still like to speak to anyone who saw this fire or the smoke from it.

Police have been told that Russell purchased a DJI Mavic drone before going camping and the drone is still yet to be recovered.

Police continue to hold concerns for the welfare of Russell and Carol due to the amount of time they have been missing and Russell also suffers from a number of medical conditions.

It is still yet to be determined whether their disappearance is suspicious.

Last month police made a public appeal for information from anyone who may have seen Russell or Carol, or who may have captured CCTV dash-cam footage of them in or travelling to the area.

Investigators were also keen to hear from anyone in the amateur radio community who may have had contact with Russell, as he was known to be a keen participant.

Police would like to thank a number of people from this community who came forward and spoke to detectives following this appeal.

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

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