Man arrested for missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay painted his 4×4, neighbor says


The SUV belonging to a man arrested for the disappearance of missing Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay had been painted from blue to “sand brown”, his neighbor believes.

The man who was arrested for the mysterious disappearance of Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay may have painted his SUV from blue to “sand brown” shortly after the couple disappeared, his neighbor believes.

Gregory Lynn was arrested in a “dramatic” confrontation with heavily armed police at a remote campsite near Moroka Road, Arbuckle Junction around 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Victoria Police said the 55-year-old Nissan Patrol 4WD was also seized.

Mr Lynn’s neighbor, John Vella, said he noticed the SUV had turned from blue to “sand brown” months after the couple disappeared.

“It would have been maybe 12 months ago,” Mr. Vella told the Herald Sun.

“I know that originally, when I first saw it, it needed a spray paint because the paint was all faded and there were rust spots.”

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Mr Lynn has not been charged and remains in custody, ”Victoria police said.

“The investigation into the matter remains ongoing and further information will be released when operationally appropriate.”

Victorian campers Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, went missing from a camping trip to the Wonnangatta Valley.

The couple were last heard from on March 20, 2020, and despite extensive searches in the area, they have yet to be found.

Earlier this month, the Missing Persons Squad released an image of a blue 4×4 and a trailer that is believed to be a mid to late ’90s Nissan Patrol.

Victoria Police said investigators “wanted to speak to the driver of the vehicle or any witnesses who may have seen the vehicle in the area at the time.”

Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said police “best theory” so far had involved the vehicle caught on CCTV.

“Maybe someone in that blue SUV was parked and camping in the same area and it could have caused contact which could have been confrontational or aggressive contact,” he said.

“We know Russell was a very peaceful, law-abiding man and he worked in the wilderness and in very difficult jobs, so he wasn’t someone who would necessarily take a step back either.

“So if there was some sort of argument, maybe it escalated from there.”


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