Pilot charged with murder of missing Australian campers

Greg Lynn was arrested on Monday over disappearance of Russell Hill and Carol Clay in March last year

Australian police have charged an airline pilot with the murder of two elderly campers who went missing in Victoria state almost 20 months ago.

The 55-year-old man, identified by local media as Greg Lynn, was charged after being questioned for three days over the disappearance of Russell Hill and Carol Clay, both in their 70s.

The pair were last heard from in March last year when Mr Hill made a radio call to friends from Wonnangatta Valley, a rugged alpine region in a national park in Victoria.

Other hikers discovered their empty campsite, with the charred remains of a tent and fire-damaged car, the following day.

Mr Lynn was arrested at another alpine campground on Monday.

"We are hopeful that this arrest brings us a step closer to providing the answers the families have been desperately seeking and richly deserve," Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill told media in Melbourne.

"It has been a long haul, 20 months in fact of, you know, commitment, dedication, that's been – as I said – extraordinary."

Police are still hopeful of finding the bodies of the missing campers and said they would soon begin searching a new area in the remote bushland of Victoria's alps.

In all, five people have been reported missing in the area since 2011, according to The Age newspaper.

The disappearance of Mr Hill and Ms Clay sparked intensive searches throughout the rugged region and emotional pleas for information from family members.

"We can't grieve for someone if you don't know if they're really missing or dead," Mr Hill's daughter, Debbie, said in a video released by police last month.

"It's just left a really big hole, a deep hole."

Updated: November 26th 2021, 6:54 AM