Found Deceased Australia - Russell Hill, 74, & Carol Clay, 72, Wonnangatta Valley, 20 March 2020

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Panda

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From the article it sounds like she was used to hearing his voice when he was talking to his radio chums.
To me that sounds like he didn't usually contact her personally.
Though It's starting to sound though like foul play , maybe someone shot down his drone and maybe accidentally or by design shot him and then Carol.
And then burnt the tent , after a fight where the table got knocked over.
I've gone between them getting lost which doesn't make sense if he was expererenced, to them starting a new life together to now thinking it's possible that they were murdered. Maybe by someone annoyed by the drone, either by the noise or the fear it would discover something they wanted and needed kept hidden. Maybe drone footage captured them doing something illegal.

I agree, it sounds like she was used to hearing his voice when he was talking to his radio chums and most probably didn't contact her personally. The fact that she was so quick to dismiss him as dead and is packing up his belongings tells me that their relationship (even after 50 years) wasn't all that good. Sounds to me like they were married but more for convenience after all the years they were together. Too much hassle at their age to start again.

I'm not too sure about the shooting down of the drone and then Carol and Russell being shot down. Firearms in Australia are quite restricted for one thing, and for another, I would have thought the police would have found some evidence of spent cartridges, especially given they used dogs. However, saying that, it's not unusual for illegal cannabis growing activities in the bush, though I would be surprised if someone would have had an illegal crop so close to where people frequently camped.

I wonder who bought the drone? Unfortunately, police information is at best, limited and sketchy (as always).

I do believe personally though that there is something very amiss and that they didn't go "walkabout" and mysteriously disappear.
 

Panda

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Maybe there was something on the table that set alight the tent and contents when the table got knocked over.

I don't think that was the case, only because from the photo the table doesn't seem that badly damaged. If it was something on the table, I would have thought there would be more damage to the table. But then, I'm no fire pattern expert, so I could be totally wrong.
 

Panda

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Maybe there was something on the table that set alight the tent and contents when the table got knocked over.

I don't think that was the case, only because from the photo the table doesn't seem that badly damaged. If it was something on the table, I would have thought there would be more damage to the table. But then, I'm no fire pattern expert, so I could be totally wrong.

Maybe the new woman found out he was married, flipped the table, burned the tent, started a forest fire and they both ran off into the bush.

While the phone remained on its charger and somehow also started a fire?

What are the probabilities???[/QUOTE
He apparently had known the woman he went camping with for 50 odd years, so she would have known he was married. There's no evidence of a forest fire, the fire was limited to a small area that burnt out the tent and associated equipment. In any case, it's unlikely they would have run off into the bush, they would have used his vehicle to escape the area, if that was the case.

The fire experts seem to think the fire was started from a phone charger, which I still find very strange and unusual. As mentioned in my post above, it's highly unlikely to charge a phone in a tent. How would they have gotten the electrical power to charge it in a tent, when they had a perfectly suitable vehicle to charge a phone metres away?
 

Panda

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Panda

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drone causes fire Archives - Fire Aviation

Some thoughts -
Could a rechargeable battery for the missing drone have caused the fire? But if so this still doesn’t explain the drone itself and Russell and Carol being missing.

To me the burn patterns on the car look weird - like there was something rectangular blocking the fire from singing it.

One article I read said Carol was a glamour queen and supposedly not the type to go camping.
The fact they went together and alone and the wife allegedly didn’t know he was with her - well IMO you have to address the possibility they were having an affair or an assignation.

I totally agree with your assumptions.

The fire could well have been caused by a rechargeable battery for the drone, as opposed to a mobile phone. You are right, the burn patterns do look weird. I hadn't noticed the possibility that something was blocking the fire from singeing the rest of the car. Very strange burn pattern. Unless the fire was more intense at those particular areas which caused the singeing.

Yes, being a "glamour queen" I personally find it unlikely that she would go off traipsing in the bush far from the camp site. However, we don't know how often they went camping together, whether this was a one off camping trip, or whether they went on previous camping trips together where she embarked on hiking in the bush, for example.

To be honest, I find it unlikely the wife was unaware of her husband's dalliances. I suspect she was fully away, or at the least, suspected her husband was having an affair. The mere fact that she was unaware that her husband was going camping with another woman (even more so, a known "friend") suggests to me that this was an affair that the husband was engaged in. The wife's attitude regarding her husband's disappearance also tells me that she wasn't that emotionally attached to her husband.
 

Panda

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Heart conditions might be the culprit...

They are still there in the bush, I also guess. There is no new life outside, otherwise there would be money records, before or after the disappearance.

Phone might have needed charging after being used for taking photos, for example.

MOO

I wouldn't have thought they would have ventured far, given their age and his medical condition. In which case, the police should have discovered at the very least, some clues or their bodies.

I agree the phone may have needed recharging after being used to take photos, however, that still doesn't explain why they would charge the phone in the tent, as opposed to in the vehicle. What means would they have used to recharge the phone in a tent? It would have required some sort of electrical power. Also, tents are quite limiting regarding room. The last thing you would want is to take up room unnecessarily to charge a phone, for example. You would be more likely to opt to charge it in the vehicle.
 

Panda

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Heart conditions might be the culprit...

They are still there in the bush, I also guess. There is no new life outside, otherwise there would be money records, before or after the disappearance.

Phone might have needed charging after being used for taking photos, for example.

MOO

A possibility regarding heart condition. But once again, I wouldn't have thought they would have ventured far from the camping ground and would have been discovered by the police. Given we can presume the woman wasn't experience in being in the bush, if Russell suffered a heart attack, it is quite possible she would panic and become lost. It is extremely easy to become disorientated in the bush, if you don't know what you're doing.
 

Black-Cat

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I thought this case was odd from the beginning.... not a missing person case, but persons met with foul play.

What if the wife or other close family member was aware he was having an affair, and decided to do something about it ..... the wife seemed pretty sure he wasn’t alive..... just a theory .... IMO Or maybe Ms Clay had another boyfriend who was jealous ....
 

jade32

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This is such a strange case. If i look at the photo of the campsite (burned), i can't help but feel like going in two directions. One of them is like everything was set together and set on fire. The other is that it's staged to look like something happened. I also find the marks on the car weird, like something was blocking it.

I also noticed that only some family members on the wife side of the family knew he was taking this camping trip with another woman? That's weird to me.

Something is off to me.
 

jade32

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Grave fears for missing Vic campers

Mr Hill's family did not know he was going away with Ms Clay, but some of her family were aware.

Det Insp Stamper said there were no persons of interest in the disappearance, nor any evidence to suggest Ms Clay and Mr Hill eloped, but every avenue was being investigated including foul play.

Here you say his family didnt know. But as i understand now the family of the missing woman knew about the trip.
 

TootsieFootsie

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Panda

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I thought this case was odd from the beginning.... not a missing person case, but persons met with foul play.

What if the wife or other close family member was aware he was having an affair, and decided to do something about it ..... the wife seemed pretty sure he wasn’t alive..... just a theory .... IMO Or maybe Ms Clay had another boyfriend who was jealous ....

I was initially thinking something along those lines. However, it would have been a very complex way of "getting rid" of Ms Clay and Mr Hill. If they were murdered at the scene, there would be evidence for sure.
 

Panda

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https://www.theage.com.au/national/...days-before-camping-trip-20200422-p54m7y.html

A woman who went missing with a family friend on a camping trip in Victoria's high country last month was happily talking to friends about her grandchildren and had settled on a brand new property in Melbourne's south-east a week before the pair's mysterious disappearance.

"Inspector Stamper said Mr Hill was "fastidious in his camping habits", but said neither he nor Ms Clay were experienced bushwalkers and were unlikely to have ventured far from camp."

The above quote is exactly what I was thinking. It is unlikely they would have ventured far from the campsite.

Regarding the drone, the article states: "He was also learning to use a drone, which has not been found."

In my mind, this would indicate that it was likely the drone crashed somewhere. It takes some practise to become skilful at using a drone. However, if he was learning to use the drone, one would think he wouldn't practise in the middle of the bush, he would most likely practise in the clearing at the campsite. Therefore, the drone most likely wouldn't have crashed that far from the campsite. The other theory is that perhaps he intentionally chose somewhere that he was interested in surveying and they had to walk to the area to use the drone. However, if he was inexperienced using a drone, that seems unlikely.

Further, it's very strange that both have disappeared. The chances of them both having an accident in the bush at the same time is extremely unlikely. The only theory I can come up with is that Mr Hill had a medical episode somewhere in the bush and Ms Clay was unable to find her way back to the campsite and got lost, in which case they would be found in separate locations.
 

Black-Cat

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It did mention that Ms Clay had settled on a new house in Melbourne ... maybe Mr Hill was going to leave his wife of 50 years to be with Ms Clay and someone found out about it .... I wonder if she had children ... what his kids thought .... or like someone mentioned earlier they stumbled on a an illegal crop ... My Opinion Only....
 

MissUnderstood

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Reading here feels like a crazy plot to an old mystery novel!!!
Maybe they went to look for a crashed drone and got lost. If I spent 2K on a drone, I’d go after it. If the couple were lost at night out there with no shelter or water I guess it wouldn’t take long to succumb to the elements.
Hoping they are found soon
MOO
 

bancam

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Interesting how at 1:24 and 4:23 of this tv clip, from the Nine Network’s (perhaps aptly named) A Current Affair show, Russell’s wife automatically talks in the past tense about Carol - i.e. “she was” rather than “she is” - as though she is no longer alive.

This is despite the reporter and others interviewed consistently talking about the missing couple in the present tense. And bearing in mind they’ve only been missing for a little over a month under strange circumstances, so it’s a little early to have written them off as dead.


Also odd that the reporter opens by saying they only have one photograph of Russell and “know little about him” when moments later they have his wife of 50 years sitting in front of the camera for interview.
 
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