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Missing campers, Victoria: Police confirm remains of Russell Hill, Carol Clay, found

A Coroner has confirmed human remains found at a remote campsite are those of ‘secret lover’ missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay. 

Victoria Police announced the major breakthrough in the case that gripped Australia in a short statement released on Monday afternoon. 

‘Victoria Police can confirm that forensic testing on human remains located near Dargo in November 2021 has now been completed,’ the statement read. 

A Coroner has confirmed human remains found at a remote campsite are those of ‘secret lover’ missing campers Russell Hill (right) and Carol Clay (left)

Forensic experts made the grisly find off the Providence Spur Track north of Dargo in the state's east within dense bushland often frequented by deer hunters (pictured)

Forensic experts made the grisly find off the Providence Spur Track north of Dargo in the state’s east within dense bushland often frequented by deer hunters (pictured)

‘The Coroner has advised Victoria Police that the remains are that of Russell Hill and Carol Clay. As the matter is before the court, we will not be providing any further comment. 

‘We will not be providing a spokesperson or facilitating any further interviews at this time.’

It comes after Jetstar pilot Gregory Lynn, 55, was arrested in November and charged with the couple’s murders, some 20 months after they vanished from a rural campsite while on a secret rendezvous in March 2020. 

Forensic experts made the grisly find off the Providence Spur Track north of Dargo in the state’s east within dense bushland often frequented by deer hunters. 

Footage of the search showed plain clothes officers sifting through dirt by hand as an excavator worked ahead turning the soil over and digging up the packed ground. 

Mr Hill and Ms Clay were last heard from on March 20, 2020 when Mr Hill, an experienced outdoorsman, made a call via high-frequency radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley

Jetstar pilot Gregory Lynn, 55, (pictured) was arrested in November and charged with the couple's murders, some 20 months after they vanished from a rural campsite

Jetstar pilot Gregory Lynn, 55, (pictured) was arrested in November and charged with the couple’s murders, some 20 months after they vanished from a rural campsite

Lynn (pictured) was arrested and his Nissan Patrol seized in remote bushland on November 22

Lynn (pictured) was arrested and his Nissan Patrol seized in remote bushland on November 22

It is understood the remains were found not far below the surface after four days of extensive searching in the rugged bushland. 

The breakthrough came just a few days after Lynn was arrested and his Nissan Patrol seized in dense scrub on November 22. 

The Caroline Springs man was stood down from his job as a pilot on the same day. 

Lynn allegedly murdered the slain campers on the day they arrived at the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps. 

Mr Hill and Ms Clay had travelled to the high country, more than 200km northeast of Melbourne, for a trip away – having spent decades engaged in a secret affair. 

The elderly campers were last heard from on March 20, 2020 when Mr Hill, an experienced outdoorsman, made a call via high-frequency radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley. 

Campers found Mr Hill’s car destroyed by fire at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track the following day. 

Lynn's mid-1990s model Nissan Patrol (pictured) has been central to the investigation after it was pictured close to where the pair were last seen

Lynn’s mid-1990s model Nissan Patrol (pictured) has been central to the investigation after it was pictured close to where the pair were last seen

For 20 months police have been investigating what happened to the two missing campers

For 20 months police have been investigating what happened to the two missing campers

Campers found Mr Hill's car destroyed by fire at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track the following day (pictured)

Campers found Mr Hill’s car destroyed by fire at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track the following day (pictured)

Forensic confirmation of the human remains will finally bring a sense of closure to the campers’ families after almost two years of frustrating mystery. 

Since they vanished, rumours have swirled about who may have been involved, including suggestions the couple may have been attacked by nefarious hunters, an ‘oddball loner’ called ‘Button Man’, or even a murder stalking the area. 

Detectives had been on the lookout for a dark blue Nissan Patrol, but it’s understood Lynn had painted his own car gold after the campers vanished.  

In his first court appearance, Lynn’s lawyer Chris McLennan did not make any application for bail on behalf of the alleged killer, who was remanded in custody by Magistrate Greg McNamara until his next court appearance. 

He faces life in prison should he be convicted of double murder and is due to return to court in Sale for a committal mention on May 31. 

Forensic confirmation of the human remains will finally bring a sense of closure to the campers' families after almost two years of frustrating mystery

Forensic confirmation of the human remains will finally bring a sense of closure to the campers’ families after almost two years of frustrating mystery 

Lynn (pictured) faces life in prison should he be convicted of double murder and is due to return to court in Sale for a committal mention on May 31

Lynn (pictured) faces life in prison should he be convicted of double murder and is due to return to court in Sale for a committal mention on May 31

TIMELINE OF CAROL CLAY AND RUSSELL HILL’S DISAPPEARENCE

* March 19, 2020: Russell Hill, 74, leaves his Drouin home and picks up Carol Clay, 73, from her Pakenham home

* March 20, 2020: Mr Hill makes a call via high frequency radio saying he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps. It is the last time anyone hears from either of the pair

* March 21, 2020: Campers find Mr Hill’s fire-damaged Toyota Landcruiser at their campsite near Dry River Creek Track

* March 26, 2020: When Mr Hill planned to leave the region

* March 28 to 29, 2020: When Ms Clay told friends she expected to return

* March 30, 2020: Police make public appeal for information amid search

* April 6, 2020: Initial search called off

* March 5, 2021: Police appeal for information about ‘mystery vehicle’, described as a ‘white dual cab ute’ seen in the area

* March 9, 2021: Drone handed into police ruled out as Mr Hill’s

* April 4, 2021: Cadaver dogs join search at Wonnangatta Valley

* April 14, 2021: Two shovels found near the Great Alpine Rd at Mount Hotham, about 100km drive from where the campers went missing

* November 8, 2021: Image released of blue four-wheel drive seen in the area

* November 22, 2021: Police arrest 55-year-old man from Caroline Springs

* November 25, 2021: The 55-year-old man is charged with two counts of murder

* November 30, 2021: Police find human remains during search for missing campers

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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