Australia Grim twist in the mysterious disappearance of a married camper and his beauty queen 'friend' as police find human remains 200km away in same mountain range - and cops won't say whose they are
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Devastated friends and family have paid tribute to a much-loved Ayr resident killed in a quad bike rollover in Queensland's north, near Townsville.Taylah Pearson, 22, had been fighting for life since Thursday night, when her family made the heart-breaking decision to switch off her life support.
Human remains have been found in the same mountain range where two campers mysteriously disappeared two months ago.
Russell Hill, 74, and his friend and devoted grandmother Carol Clay, 73, were last heard from on March 20 after going on a secret camping trip in the Victorian Alps.
Mr Hill - who did not tell his wife he was going away with his long-term friend Ms Clay - was last heard from that day on high-frequency radio when he was at the remote Wonnangatta Station.
Human remains have now been found 200km away from the station at Moondarra in Victoria's high country,reported.
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Authorities were alerted about 3am on Monday after police received a call the man had gone overboard off the coast of Point Arkwright. Superintendent Craig Hawkins said search crews were doing everything they could to locate him."The skipper of the vessel had seen him there [on the boat] before he broached a large wave, after the wave passed, the gentleman could not be found," he said on Monday.Some equipment was also thrown overboard in an effort to help the man and mark the locationChallenging conditions hampered search efforts on Monday, with 15-to-25-knot winds causing rough seas.
The State Emergency Service were called on Saturday evening to investigate the discovery, but police remain tight-lipped as to whether it is related to the elderly pair's disappearance.
Victoria Police said the missing person squad were in Moondarra as part of an 'active' investigation, but would not comment further.
Find relaxation with micro adventures outside
It sounds simple: Just spontaneously get on the bike and off you go. Without goal and plan. Deliberately break out of everyday life and do something that you would otherwise not do: some call it a micro adventure. © Photo: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert / dpa-tmn Just spontaneously and without a plan out into nature - that is the idea behind a micro adventure. It is not a question of tackling the next mountain hike planned in minute detail - but of plunging into the unknown, into nature.
'Further information will be available when it is operationally appropriate to do so,' a police spokeswoman said.
Footage showed forensic investigators combing an area of bushland off a dirt road in Moondarra.
The revelation came after bizarre new details emerged of an 'oddball loner' living in the Victorian Alps, who has been questioned over a number of mysterious disappearances.
Known as 'Buttons' or ominously, 'the Button Man', the expert bushman became a person of interest after concerns about his odd behaviour were raised by locals.
Mr Hill, who didn't tell his wife he was going away with long-time friend Ms Clay, went missing with the devoted grandmother in the isolated region.
Their disappearance has baffled local authorities who found their campsite burned out two days later.
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But sources believe the Button Man could be useful to the investigation, as he often speaks to local campers and knows the area well.
He is understood to have earned his nickname due to his hobby of using deer antlers to make buttons - which he then uses as large ear piercings.
Using well crafted traditional spears, the man is known to camp for weeks on end in remote bushlands and hunt for deer, The Age reported.
Despite being described as 'spooky' and 'bloody scary', police have no evidence to suggest he was involved in any disappearances and there have been no reports of violence.
WHAT DO WE KNOWN ABOUT THE 'BUTTON MAN'?
- In his 70s, the expert bushman is known to disappear for weeks on end
- Often 'spooking' campers, he often asks them questions - but never answers any
- He fills up his tank in Mansfield and buys supplies before heading out
- He is an impressive walker, and remarkably fit for his age
Body of missing Victorian man found
A dead body found in Victoria's south-east has been identified as missing man Jarrad Lovison. Detectives from the Missing Person Squad found the body after scouring bushland on Saturday during a search at Moondarra State Park, north of Moe.The 37-year-old man's death is being treated as suspicious.Mr Lovison was last seen just after 9.45pm on April 15, riding his green mountain bike along March Street in Newborough. © Supplied The man's father John and stepmother Dianne. Father John Lovison previously told 9News his son was well-loved by the community.
- The 'loner' often builds bizarre stone pyramids on the roadside to track cars
- He drives a 4WD and uses a traditional spear to hunt
The man, described as being around 70 and very fit, has been known to speak to local campers.
One bushman said the Button Man had a 'thousand-metre stare that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up'.
In one particularly terrifying story, a wildlife photographer explained that he had stayed in the area around the Button Man's camp to take pictures.
When he got home to download pictures from his camera, he found an unexplained picture of himself asleep - with no idea who took it or when.
The Button Man is also known to build pyramids out of rocks on the roadside, piling pebbles to signify when a car has driven passed.
He is known to spend long periods in a remote bush camp, and was recently visited in Mansfield by missing persons investigators, thereported.
Mansfield sits 180km north-east of Melbourne, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps.
Police are reported to have had a long chat with the man, but discovered no new information about numerous local missing persons cases.
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Described as an 'oddball character' by locals, the mystery man has been said to have scared hunters and hikers in the area.
The man is reported to have adopted an 'alternative lifestyle', but does not have a criminal record.
He is described as 'eccentric but intelligent', and often drives his 4WD to pick up supplies in Mansfield.
The mystery man is said to roam the High Country for weeks at a time, using a remote base camp near a weather station called 'The Crossroads'.
But there is no evidence that he is linked to Ms Clay and Mr Hill's disappearance, nor of other missing persons in the region.
Ms Clay and Mr Hill are just two of many people who have gone missing in the area over the past decade, four of them within just nine months.
His wife of 50 years, Robyn, previously admitted she had no idea her husband had gone camping with another woman.
She said her husband had been friendly with Ms Clay, who was once the President of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, for decades but was unaware they were travelling together.
It's suspected the blaze at their camp may have been started by a mobile phone charger that overheated inside a tent.
Mr Hill's Toyota four-wheel-drive was also found at the scene with possessions belonging to the couple still inside.
Investigators feared the pair may have become lost in the remote bushland, but haven't ruled out foul play - or that they vanished intentionally.
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Two major search operations involving drones, helicopters, mounted police, search dogs and ground crews have come up with nothing.
But friends of Mr Hill who have been out camping with the avid outdoorsman say he knows the area well and would not have strayed far.
Acting Sergeant Scott Wilkinson who was part of the team looking for the pair, said the search was substantial, but ultimately fruitless.
Bushwalker Niels Becker went missing at nearby Mt Stirling last October, while Conrad Whitlock went missing near Mt Buller last winter.
Mr Whitlock, a wealthy businessman, went missing in July - last being seen at his White Water Court home, before his BMW was found 20km away from Mansfield.
The Tomahawk Hut area was searched in 2011 after the peculiar disappearance of former prisons boss David Prideaux.
Mr Prideaux was declared dead in 2014 after going missing on Mt Stirling in July 2011.
He is believed to have been deer hunting with his brother-in-law, but vanished without a trace.
Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper of the Missing Persons Squad said police want to speak with anyone who may have seen the couple near the time they disappeared.
'This is a real and traumatic mystery and we need all the help we can get via Crime Stoppers,' Insp Stamper said.
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