Police and cadaver dogs continue search for Russell Hill and Carol Clay

Police have returned to Wonnangatta Valley this week to continue their search for missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

Members of police Search and Rescue were joined by NSW cadaver dogs to continue searching for the missing campers who have not been seen since March, 2020

This is the second time NSW Cadaver dogs have assisted in the search for Russell and Carol.

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.

Officer in charge of the Missing Persons Squad, Detective Acting Inspector Anthony Combridge, said

“It has been over 12 months since Russell Hill and Carol Clay disappeared and we are committed to finding the answers on what happened to them.

“We will continue to search the area and encourage anyone with information to come forward, no matter how small they think that information might be.”

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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