Melbourne, Australia — Twenty months ago, Russell Hill and Carol Clay disappeared during a camping trip in the Wonangata Valley, in the remote highlands of Victoria, Australia. Their campsite was found to be scorched and dead deer were scattered around the valley.
When police announced on Thursday that the suspects had been charged with their murder, the mystery of what had happened to them, the country-fixing case, was nearing resolution.
“This arrest hopes to bring us one step closer to providing the richly worthy answers that families are desperately seeking,” Bob Hill, vice chairman of the Victorian Police Department, said at a press conference Thursday night. I have. “
The announcement came three days after police arrested Greg Lynn, 55, who was identified by local media as a pilot for Australian Airlines’ Jetstar Airlines.
Jetstar said in an email statement that employees were being investigated for “serious crimes” and that “unsurprisingly, as a result of the arrest, employees were removed from duty,” police advised. Said received. “
Police said he was arrested Monday night during a camp at Arbuckle Junction in the highlands of Victoria. It’s about 15 miles south of where Hill and Clay were last.
Police began an interview with Mr Lin, who lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, on Tuesday morning and charged him with murder on Thursday. He will appear in the district court on Friday morning, said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hill.
Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the case.
This announcement follows almost two years of police investigations that have attracted public attention.
Hill and Clay in their 70s set out on a week-long camping trip in the Wonangata Valley in March 2020. Five hours drive from Melbourne, it is one of the most remote areas in the state and can only be accessed by four-wheel drive or horse riding.
The night they arrived in the valley, amateur radio enthusiast Hill called a fellow enthusiast to let him know where he was.
That was the last time they heard. The next day, the hiker came across a burnout camp. Hill and Clay weren’t found anywhere.
Over the next few months, police returned to the scene many times to search the area, but the ruggedness made the search difficult.
Rumors and media speculation swirled around the incident: about illegal deer hunting in the area. About the possibility that two unmarried people escaped together. And about a local recluse known as Buttonman-although there is no evidence that he was a suspect in this case.
In April of this year, police found two shovels and submitted evidence. With new information, Hill and Clay searched an area 20 miles northeast of where they were last seen. It is unclear how important the discovery was.
Last month, police updated a request for information about the incident with members of Hill and Clay’s family.
“He just disappeared and you’re just stuck,” Hill’s daughter Debbie said at the time. “If we don’t know if someone is really missing or dead, we can’t mourn anyone. There are really big holes, deep holes left.”
Despite the arrest, many questions remain.
Almost three weeks ago, police released an image of a dark blue Nissan Patrol car with a trailer.
When police arrested Mr Lin, they confiscated his car, the Beige Nissan Patrol. Local media reported that police said Mr Lin intended to paint his car in a different color to avoid detection.
Police are still looking for a trailer, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hill said Thursday, and wanted to talk to the person who bought it between March and July 2020. Police believe the trailer was sold on the online classified advertising site Gumtree.
Police had not found the bodies of Mr Hill and Mr Clay, but they said they were focusing on areas in the highlands of Victoria that would begin their search within a few days.
“Police want us to find the deceased and provide the ultimate closure to the family,” he said.