A revealing interview has confirmed that missing Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay were having an affair, according to Clay’s sister.
Russell Hill and Carol Clay were last heard from on March 20, 2020 when they were camping in the Wonnangatta Valley in Victoria. The couple’s campsite was discovered by campers on March 21 completely destroyed by fire near Dry River Creek Track. Hill’s vehicle was also found with signs of minor fire damage.
Clay’s sister, Jill, told 60 Minutes that she was aware of the pair’s affair and that they went on multiple camping trips together prior to their disappearance.
“I knew that she was going camping, not just on that occasion, but on other occasions. And I knew that she was having the relationship and that they were doing these trips,” she said.
“And in some ways, I feel that that’s why they went to such a remote place.”
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Hill’s daughter Colleen told the program that she was surprised by the revelation that their father was with someone else.
“It was a shock when the police mentioned something about, do we know a Carol? But that was the first we knew about it,” she said.
“We didn’t know anything about him and Carol being together.”
News of the couple’s affair comes as Victorian Police reveal a new clue in the search for the missing pair. Police are now focusing their investigation on a blue four-wheel drive, believed to be a mid to late 1990s model Nissan Patrol, which was seen in the area at the time of the couple’s disappearance.
Victoria Police Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said police have “not been able to eliminate this blue four-wheel drive from our enquiries”.
“We have witness statements that put this blue vehicle and its trailer in the valley at the time Russell and Carol were there, and indeed near the spot that they had set up their camp,” he said.
Detectives from the Missing Persons Squad have released an image of a vehicle and a trailer they believe may be able to assist in their enquiries to locate missing Wonnangatta campers, Russell Hill and Carol Clay.
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— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) November 8, 2021
The exact cause of the campers’ disappearance has not yet been fully determined, however, investigators have long believed it is likely a third party was allegedly involved in their disappearance, as Stamper revealed to 60 Minutes.
“One thing that’s always occurred to us is there could have been somebody else there at the same time,” he said.
“It’s been a long road and we’re confident we’re getting towards the end of the road now.”
Anyone with any other information regarding their disappearance is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.