Campers stumbled across burnt-out campsite, jury told

Tara Cosoleto |

Other campers have given evidence at the trial for the murder of Carol Clay and Russell Hill.
Other campers have given evidence at the trial for the murder of Carol Clay and Russell Hill.

A pink handbag and wallets with missing cards were found at a fire-blackened campsite a day after Russel Hill and Carol Clay were allegedly murdered, a jury has been told. 

Mrs Clay, 73, and Mr Hill, 74, were camping together in Victoria’s Wonnangatta Valley when they disappeared in March 2020.

Greg Lynn is accused of killing the couple at Bucks Camp on March 20 and then dumping their remains in bushland on the Union Spur Track near Dargo.

The 57-year-old man, who was a Jetstar captain at the time, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and is on trial at the Supreme Court in Melbourne.

Camper Andrew Marquardt told the jury he found Mr Hill’s unattended white Toytota LandCruiser at a burnt-out campsite on March 21, 2020. 

He saw the charred remains of a camp fire and the ute had been partially blackened by fire, Mr Marquardt said.

He told the jury when he went closer to the vehicle, he saw a pink handbag on the passenger side and there was an Esky with food that “didn’t look old or foul”. 

Russell Hill and Carol Clay's campsite
Photos of Russell Hill and Carol Clay’s campsite were tendered to court in Greg Lynn’s trial. (Supplied/AAP PHOTOS)

Mr Marquardt also reported seeing some damage to the passenger’s side mirror although there was no further damage to any of the windows or windscreen.

He took photos of the campsite and later reported what he had seen to police. 

Another camper, Nicholas Linden, also stumbled across the campsite on March 25.

He told the jury it was “out of the ordinary” and he was initially worried someone had set up their fire too close to their tent and was killed.

When he realised there were no remains in the fire and no one nearby, Mr Linden left the scene and reported the incident to police. 

Carol Clay and Russell Hill
Prosecutors allege Carol Clay and Russell Hill (pictured) were murdered by Greg Lynn. (HANDOUT/VICTORIA POLICE)

Leading Senior Constable Christopher Skiba was one of the first officers to attend the Bucks Camp site.

He told the jury there was a handbag and wallets inside the ute, and there was no cash or credit cards located.

Sen Const Skiba said the car was still operational and had an adequate amount of fuel. 

“It started with no problems at all,” Sen Const Skiba said.

The jury was told Mr Hill and Mrs Clay died on March 20 after an argument between Lynn and Mr Hill about hunting and the latter’s drone.

Mr Hill had threatened to send footage of Lynn deer hunting close to Bucks Camp to police, defence barrister Dermot Dann KC said.

He said a scuffle ensured after Mr Hill took a gun from Lynn’s vehicle and Mrs Clay was accidentally shot by Mr Hill.

Greg Lynn (file image)
Greg Lynn’s trial has been told he argued with Mr Hill about hunting and the latter’s drone. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

The barrister asserted Mr Hill then came at Lynn with a knife, and was accidentally stabbed in the chest as Lynn was trying to defend himself.

Lynn then burned Ms Clay and Mr Hill’s campsite, put their bodies in his trailer and dumped them on the remote Union Spur Track, near Dargo.

The trial continues.