Russell Hill and Carol Clay: 55-year-old man charged with murdering Victorian campers | Victoria

A 55-year-old man from Melbourne has been charged with the murders of Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

A crime scene has been established in the state’s Alpine region, where police are focusing their efforts on finding the couple’s remains.

The man from Caroline Springs was charged Thursday night with two murders. He is due to appear in Sale Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

Victoria Police Assistant Bob Hill said investigators had allegedly discovered a crime scene in the Great Alpine region Thursday morning.

“We have located a specific area and we will establish a search perimeter in the coming days and we hope we will find the remains of Mr. Hill and Mrs Clay,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday night.

“Although this arrest is a testament to the months of dedication and tireless work of the detectives of the missing persons, this investigation is far from over.

“Forensic specialists will start searching the place in the coming days. I hope we will be able to locate the deceased and provide a barrier for the families.”

Hill expressed his condolences to their families, saying “the last 20 months have been an incredibly difficult time for them”.

The accused has been in custody since the arrest on Monday night.

Specialist police raided a remote campsite in Arbuckle Junction, 280 km northeast of Melbourne.

The man’s four-wheel drive has been seized, but police have yet to find his trailer.

In a speech on 3AW radio earlier Thursday, Victoria Police Chief Shane Patton said detectives believed the silver-colored trailer was sold last year between March and July.

He appealed to anyone who had purchased a similar one at the time to sign up.

Hill and Clay were last heard from on March 20, 2020, while camping in the Victorian Alps.

Hill left her Drouin home a day earlier and picked up Clay from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota LandCruiser.

On March 20, Hill – an experienced outdoorsman – called via high-frequency radio and said he was in the Wonnangatta Valley.

Clay, a former president of the Victorian Country Women’s Association, told friends she was heading away and expected to return home on March 28 or 29.

Investigators were told the couple were camping together on the Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta campsite.

Campers found Hills’ car wrecked by fire at their campground near the Dry River Creek Track on March 21. The couple has not been seen or heard from the side.

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