Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Specialist Victorian police officers have headed down to the small village of Dargo to continue a painstaking search for the remains of two campers who disappeared in the highlands of Victoria.

Officers arrived in Dargo on Monday as authorities stepped up their search for Russell Hill and Carol Clay, who have been missing for 20 months. Police believe they were killed and charged last week with Greg Lynn, 55, for two counts of murder.

The dense bushland north of the remote alpine town is less than 40 km from where the couple camped when they disappeared in March 2020.

Monday’s search involved missing persons’ detectives, search and rescue crews and Victoria Police’s large crime scene unit.

The preliminary search area for the bodies of Russell Hill and Carol Clay
The preliminary search area for the bodies of Russell Hill and Carol Clay. Photo: Victoria Police

“We have a significant number of police specialist resources participating… it will be a careful search that can take a long time,” Insp Matt Gleeson told ABC Gippsland on Monday.

The missing couple had been camping together on the Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta campsite.

When he announced last week that Lynn had been charged, Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said the police investigation was “far from over”.

“We hope we will locate the remains of Mr. Hill and Mrs. Clay … and make sure to close their families,” he told reporters.

Hill and Clay were last heard from in March 2020, when the former, an experienced outdoor enthusiast, called via high-frequency radio and said he was in the Wonnangatta Valley.

Campers found Hills’ car at their burned-out campground near the Dry River Creek Track on March 21st.

Police want to talk to anyone who was in the Wonnangatta area around the time, including “campers, 4×4 day tourists, hunters, fishermen or cyclists”, whether they saw or heard anything.

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