Hunt for mysterious vehicle in baffling case of missing campers

Yahoo News Australia and agencies
·2-min read

Almost a year after they went missing, there are renewed calls for information about a mystery vehicle in the baffling case of Wonnangatta campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay.

Missing persons squad chief Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper from Victoria Police made a fresh plea for assistance on Friday, especially to any travellers heading to the state's high country over the long weekend.

"If you or someone you know with a white dual cab ute was in the Wonnangatta area on 20 March last year then we need to hear from you," he said.

"I would stress that there is nothing linking that vehicle to Russell and Carol's disappearance so please do not be concerned about coming forward to assist."

missing campers Russell Hill (left) and Carol Clay (right)
Almost a year after they went missing, there are renewed calls for information in the baffling case of Wonnangatta campers Russell Hill (left) and Carol Clay (right). Source: AAP

Police have been able to identify all vehicles seen in the area near Mr Hill and Ms Clay's campsite on March 20 last year - with the exception of the ute.

"It might seem like only a very small possibility that those in the white ute will have information about Russell and Carol's disappearance but we can't afford to leave any stone unturned," Det Insp Stamper said.

"I appreciate this is not an especially uncommon vehicle. However, if you or someone you know with a white dual cab ute was in the Wonnangatta area around 20 March last year then we need to hear from you."

Police: 'We will not give up'

Det Insp Stamper said police could not leave any "what ifs" in their investigation and that it could not be done without the public's help.

"We will not give up on the possibility that we can give those families the answers that they need," he said.

"The grief that these families have had to deal with over the past year coupled with immense public speculation is immensely difficult to comprehend."

Mr Hill, 74, left his Drouin home on March 19 last year and collected his friend Ms Clay, 73, from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota LandCruiser. Ms Clay was divorced but Mr Hill was still married.

They then travelled through Licola, spending one night at Howitt High Plains before heading into Wonnangatta Valley on March 20.

Mr Hill was last heard from on that day over HF radio, while Ms Clay had told friends she was heading away and was expecting to return by March 29.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report online.

with AAP

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