Police continue search for campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay, who were last seen in the Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020

Police continue search for missing campers

POLICE returned to Wonnangatta Valley last week to continue their search for missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

Members of police Search and Rescue were joined by New South Wales Cadaver dogs to continue searching for the missing campers who have not been seen since March last year.

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 March 19, 2020, 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 March 20.

Russell was last heard from on March 20 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 March 21.

Missing Persons Squad detectives, with the assistance of specialist police, have conducted numerous searches in and around the Wonnangatta Valley over the past 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, fpur-by-four 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 March 19 or 20, and the Wonnangatta Valley and Wonnangatta Station between March 20 and 24 who has not yet made contact with police is urged to come forward.

Detectives have also established Russell was camping alone with his Landcruiser in the area of the King Billy and Bluff Track between March 11 and 15.

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 March 22 and 23, 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 despite it being 12 months since Russell Hill and Carol Clay disappeared, police were 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," he said.

Anyone who sights Russell or Carol has been asked to phone 000 immediately.

Anyone with any other information regarding their disappearance or who has any CCTV or dashcam footage should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.


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