Tragic end to missing campers mystery

By Shelby Brooks

Human remains have been found in the search for the bodies of Pakenham woman Carol Clay and her camping companion Russell Hill, of Drouin.

Victoria Police made the announcement Tuesday 30 November that they had located human remains in bushland near Dargo as part of their ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Russell and Carol.

The remains are yet to be formally identified and it is expected this process will take some time.

Victoria Police’s Missing Persons Squad Inspector Andrew Stamper was heading up the operation, with assistance from Missing Person Squad detectives and specialist resources including Search and Rescue and Major Crime Scene Unit.

It’s understood the search area was near Grant, an old gold mining town.

Victoria Police shared an image near the preliminary search area to give an indication of the terrain investigators are dealing with.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said detectives identified a crime scene within the Great Alpine Area on Thursday 25 November.

“Our efforts to locate the remains of Russell and Carol continue,“ he said.

“Forensic specialists will commence searching in that area in the coming days.

“We are hopeful this arrest brings us a step closer to providing the answers the families have been desperately searching for and richly deserve.”

Police are still searching for a rusty silver/blue 7×5 trailer with off road wheels that was attached to the Nissan Patrol, which was seized by police when the man was arrested on Monday.

“This trailer remains outstanding and police are keen to talk to anyone who purchased or received a similar trailer particularly during the period of March to July last year,” Commissioner Hill said.

“We believe the trailer was sold on Gumtree.”