Tragic twist in search for missing campers
Tragic twist in search for missing campers

Tragic twist in search for missing campers

Police cadaver dogs have been brought in to search for missing Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

The tragic development comes just days before the one year anniversary of the pair's disappearance in the state's north east on March 20.

"Missing Persons squad can confirm we have used NSW Police cadaver dogs as part of the searches for missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay in the Wonnangatta area," Victoria Police said in a statement.

The force has also recently bolstered the number of detectives investigating Mr Hill and Ms Clay's disappearance.

"This investigation remains a significant priority for both Victoria Police and the Missing Persons Squad," police said.

"As part of our commitment to this investigation, and only days out from the upcoming one-year anniversary, we have recently increased the number of detectives on the investigation team."

Missing Pakenham woman Carol Clay.
Missing Pakenham woman Carol Clay.

Last week, investigators ruled out a drone handed into police was linked to the pair.

Police were hoping the drone, which was handed in to an East Gippsland police station, would provide potential new clues in the search for Mr Hill and Ms Clay.

Investigators were told Mr Hill took his DJI Mavic drone before going camping.

However, missing person squad detectives determined the drone handed in was not Mr Hill's.

Investigators said they would still continue to analyse the drone to determine its origin.

Mr Hill and Ms Clay vanished while on a camping trip in the remote Wonnangatta Valley, east of Melbourne, on March 20 last year.

Mr Hill left his Drouin home on March 19 before collecting Ms Clay from her Pakenham home in his white Toyota LandCruiser.

He was last heard from the following day via HF radio, stating he was at Wonnangatta Valley 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.

Investigators have been told the pair were camping together at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.

The scorched campsite belonging to Russell Hill and Carol Clay. Picture: ABC
The scorched campsite belonging to Russell Hill and Carol Clay. Picture: ABC

Police recently appealed for information about a mystery vehicle, hoping it could lead to a breakthrough in the baffling case.

Victoria Police revealed they had been able to identify all vehicles seen in the area near Mr Hill and Ms Clay's campsite except one car - a white dual cab ute, with the make and model unknown.

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said while there was nothing linking that vehicle to the pair's disappearance, investigators "could not afford to leave any stone unturned".

Anyone with any other information regarding their disappearance or who can provide information about the white dual cab ute is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or log onto www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Originally published as Tragic twist in search for missing campers



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