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Missing campers: A timeline of the disappearance of Russell Hill and Carol Clay

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The intriguing case of missing Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay has had many twists and turns since they disappeared in March last year.

Here is a timeline of what happened.

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March 19, 2020: Russell Hill, 74, leaves his home in Drouin and collects Carol Clay, 73, from her Pakenham home for a camping trip.

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March 20, 2020: Mr Hill tells a mate via amateur radio he has set up a campsite in the Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps, about 300km northeast of Melbourne.

March 21, 2020: A visitor passes the campsite and sees it’s been burned, with no sign of any campers.

June, 2020: Police reveal someone is involved in the disappearance.

March, 2021: A drone found in the search zone had no link to Mr Hill. Police also say they’ve tracked all vehicles in the area at the time except a white ute.

April, 2021: Cadaver dogs are unleashed to scour the search zone but no remains are found.

Russell Hill was last heard from on March 20, 2020, when he contacted a friend via radio.
Camera IconRussell Hill was last heard from on March 20, 2020, when he contacted a friend via radio. Credit: Supplied

April, 2021: Searchers move to the Mt Hotham area, and shovels and other items found are handed over for forensic testing.

May, 2021: Police announce the searches have stopped.

October, 2021: Detectives announce anyone involved in the disappearance should be “very uncomfortable”.

November, 2021: Police reveal a fight could have erupted at the campsite between Mr Hill, Ms Clay and another person of interest.

Mr Hill collected Carol Clay from her Pakenham home for a camping trip on March 19, 2020.
Camera IconMr Hill collected Carol Clay from her Pakenham home for a camping trip on March 19, 2020. Credit: Supplied

November, 2021: Police claim someone tried to “cover their tracks”.

November, 2021: Police want to speak with the driver of a dark blue 1990s model Nissan Patrol with a trailer. It was caught on camera and spotted by witnesses in the area on the day the pair vanished.

November 23: Police reveal a 55-year-old man from Caroline Springs in Melbourne’s west has been arrested over the par’s disappearance. He is being questioned and the investigation remains ongoing.

Missing Vic campers Russell Hill, Carol Clay

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