Search for couple in High Country continues

DETECTIVES from the Missing Persons Squad are asking for anyone who was in the Wonnangatta area in March to contact police as part of their investigation into missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

There are several specific timeframes and locations of interest to police.

Investigators have now established Mr Hill was camping alone in the area of the King Billy and Bluff Track between March 11 and 13.

Mr Hill was driving his white Toyota Landcruiser and had his drone with him at the time.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at that time, including campers, 4×4 day trippers, hunters, fishermen or trail bike riders, regardless of whether they saw or heard anything.

This is so police can eliminate people and vehicles from their extensive investigation.

Detectives are also keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of Howitt Plains and Zeka Spur Track on March 19 or 20, and the Wonnangatta Valley and Wonnangatta Station between March 20 and 24.

It is believed Mr Hill and Ms Clay were camping at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.

Mr Hill left his Drouin home on March 19 and planned to visit various campsites along the Dargo River with his route exiting the region at Dargo on March 26. He was last heard from on March 20 via HF radio stating he was at Wonnangatta Station in the Victorian Alps when he made the call.

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

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

Investigators have been told Mr Hill purchased a DJI Mavic drone before going camping and the drone is still yet to be recovered.

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

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.

They are also keen to speak to anyone who may have smelled what has been described as a burning plastic smell in the area on March 20 or 21.

A number of public appeals for information have been made and investigators would like to thank those who have come forward and spoken to police.

There are three further sightings of an older person or pair that have been reported, however police have been unable to establish if this was Mr Hill and/or Ms Clay.

An older lady was seen at Black Snake Creek on March 22, at the long drop waiting for other campers to finish so she could use it.

An older couple was seen driving out from Black Snake Creek Hut on March 22, where the female was wearing lipstick and looked out of place.

An older couple was seen near the Eaglevale River crossing and campsite on March 22.

Police would like to speak with anyone who was in those areas on that date in the hope they can determine whether the couple was Mr Hill and Ms Clay.

Despite a number of searches over the past two months, the pair have not been located and have not contacted family or friends. It is still yet to be determined whether their disappearance is suspicious.

Anyone who sights Mr Hill or Ms Clay has been asked to phone 000 immediately.

Police would like to speak to anyone who was in these areas at the time so they can be accounted for as part of this investigation and eliminated accordingly.

Anyone with any other information regarding their disappearance or any CCTV or dashcam footage has been asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log onto www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.