Twenty months ago, Russell Hill and Carol Clay disappeared during a camping trip in Wonnangatta Valley, in the remote high country of Australia’s Victoria state. Their campsite was found burned to the ground, while deer carcasses were scattered around the valley.
On Thursday, the mystery of what had happened to them, a case that had transfixed the nation, came nearer to resolution when the police announced that a suspect had been charged with their murder.
“We are hoping this arrest brings us a step closer to providing the answers the families have been desperately seeking and richly deserve,” Bob Hill, the Victoria Police assistant commissioner, told a news conference Thursday evening.
The announcement came three days after the police arrested Greg Lynn, 55, who has been identified by the local media as a pilot for the Australian airline Jetstar Airways.
Jetstar said in an email statement that it had been advised by the police that an employee was under investigation for a “serious crime” and that, “as a matter of course, the employee has been removed from duty as a result of their arrest.”
He was arrested Monday evening while camping in Arbuckle Junction in the Victorian high country, the police said — about 15 miles south of where Hill and Clay were last known to have been.
Police began interviewing Lynn, who lives in a Melbourne suburb, on Tuesday morning and on Thursday charged him with the murders. He will appear at a local court on Friday morning, Assistant Commissioner Hill said.
Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the case.
The announcement follows a nearly two-year police investigation that drew national attention.
Hill and Clay, both in their 70s, set out in March 2020 for what was supposed to be a weeklong camping trip in the Wonnangatta Valley. A five-hour drive from Melbourne, it’s one of the most remote regions in the state, accessible only by four-wheel drive or on horseback.
The evening they arrived in the valley, Hill, an amateur radio enthusiast, dialed in to let fellow hobbyists know where he was.
That was the last time they were heard from. The next day, hikers stumbled upon their burned-out camp. Hill and Clay were nowhere to be seen.
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