The story of missing campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay has sparked so many questions, but delivered so few answers.
After almost 14 months of searching, the mystery of what happened deep in the wilderness between the popular tourist peaks of Mount Hotham and Mount Buller continues to baffle detectives.
Hill, 74, and Clay, 73, vanished on March 20 last year during a camping trip in the remote East Gippsland beauty spot of Wonnangatta, 350km east of Melbourne.
Hill left his Drouin home on March 19 before collecting Ms Clay from her home in Pakenham in his white Toyota LandCruiser.
The friends then travelled via Licola, spending one night at Howitt High Plains before heading into Wonnangatta Valley on March 20.
It's so remote you can only access the valley with a four-wheel drive. In the winter months, some of the roads are even closed, completely.
Hill was last heard from the next day via HF radio, stating he was at Wonnangatta Valley in the Victorian Alps.
Clay told friends she was heading away and was expecting to return home on March 28 or 29.
Hill was an experienced bushman who had been camping alone with his car in the area of the King Billy and Bluff Track between March 11 and 13.
Clay was a former state president and member of the Country Women's Association.
Previous reports suggested the pair were high school sweethearts, and Hill's wife was not aware Clay was joining him on the camping trip.
Investigators were told the pair were camping together at Wonnangatta River near the Wonnangatta camping ground.
A week into searching the area and detectives found their campsite burnt out off the Dry River Creek Track, north of Billabong in the Wonnangatta Valley.
A mobile phone attached to a charger was found among the charred mess, leading police to believe it may have caused the blaze.
Detectives found no evidence of an accelerant involved in the fire, which destroyed their tent, table and camping chairs and singed Hill's Toyota LandCruiser.
But the car was still drivable and the keys left inside.
Police then received reports in late May of three sightings of an "older person or older couple" in the region.
An older woman was spotted at Black Snake Creek who was waiting for other campers to finish using a long-drop toilet.
An older couple was also seen driving out from Blake Snake Creek Hut on March 22, with a woman wearing lipstick and "looking out of place".
An older couple was also seen near the Eaglevale River crossing and campsite on March 22.
Police have been unable to establish whether they were Hill or Clay.
The search went cold for almost a year
That was until police reignited its appeal to the public for vital clues, unveiling information about a single car that remained untraced in the investigation on March 5, 2021.
Investigators from the missing persons squad revealed they were looking for a white dual-cab ute of unknown make and model in the vicinity at the time Hill and Clay went missing.
"After almost 12 months of meticulous checks, as of this afternoon, police have been able to identify all vehicles seen in the area near Russell and Carol's campsite on Thursday, 20 March, 2020, with the exception of a single car," a Victoria Police statement said.
Just days later a drone believed to have been Hill's was found, sparking hope it could hold the key to finally unravelling the mysterious disappearance.
During initial investigations police released a photo of Hill holding a DJI Mavic drone he bought before going camping.
But the drone – which was handed in to the East Gippsland Police station early March after it was found in the search area – was not the one belonging to Hill.
The investigation deepened on April 14
Police moved their search 80km northwest to the Mount Hotham area, marking the first time the search had strayed from Wonnangatta.
Police were combing through "some parts of the bush never walked on by humans before" just off the Great Alpine Road in Mount Hotham.
And then a breakthrough, when detectives emerged from thick shrub with a shovel wrapped inside a clear plastic bag.
A second shovel was found shortly after.
The investigation in this new search zone was then called off the next day as the evidence was sent off to Melbourne, where they are still being forensically examined by specialist police.
And in the latest turn in the case, detectives this week redirected the search back to the campgrounds from which Hill and Clay first vanished.
Police said special focus would turn to the areas along the Dargo High Plains Road, Cynthia Range Track, Herne Spur Track and the Wonnangatta Track "as a result of information obtained from previous searches".
Missing Persons Squad detective Acting Inspector Tony Combridge has dropped the biggest hint so far that the pair met with foul play, saying police believed "somebody else is involved" in the disappearance.
"I don't think anything's off the table but we look at what's in front of us and the likely scenario is that somebody else is involved," Detective Acting Inspector Combridge said moments after the discovery of the two shovels in Mount Hotham.
"We could be one phone call away. That's the position we hold … from this matter being resolved."
Anyone who was in the Wonnangatta area about the time Hill and Clay went missing on March 20 – including campers, day trippers, hunters, fishermen or trail bike riders – regardless of whether they saw or heard anything, are being urged to come forward.
Detectives were also keen to speak to anyone who was in the area of Howitt Plains and Zeka Spur Track on March 19 or 20, and the Wonnangatta Valley and Wonnangatta Station between March 20 and 24.
Detectives also established Hill was camping alone with his LandCruiser in the area of the King Billy and Bluff Track between March 11 and 13, 2020.