The Jetstar pilot arrested over the mysterious disappearance of two elderly campers had been living the Australian dream when police arrested him in the pristine Victorian wilderness.
Gregory Lynn, 55, was apprehended by heavily armed police in a dramatic operation on Monday, which saw special operations officers swoop in on two helicopters to make the arrest at a remote campsite in Victoria and seize his vehicle.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Lynn has no previous criminal record and had been grounded at the time the campers went missing due to the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down flights across the planet.
Arrested Jetstar pilot Greg Lynn was a dedicated family man who enjoyed camping. Police suspect he may know how two missing campers vanished
Melanie Lynn, the wife of Greg Lynn, has been described as a community-minded and loving person
The mid-1990s model Nissan Patrol (pictured) is now central to the investigation
Russell Hill (pictured, left) and Carol Clay (right) are believed to have been murdered during a camping trip
Police arrested Lynn on Monday afternoon on suspicion he knows exactly what happened to Russell Hill, 74, and Carol Clay, 73, who went missing during a secret camping trip in Wonnangatta Valley in March 2020.
On Wednesday, shocked neighbours described Lynn as a friendly but ‘guarded’ neighbour, who seemingly had it all.
Nestled on a corner overlooking a green reserve in Caroline Springs, west of Melbourne, Lynn’s home is a postcard for the ‘Great Australian Dream’.
The sprawling double-storey home includes a backyard perfect for lovers of the outdoors, with colourful rosellas spotted snacking from a bird feeder next to rope fitted to trees that allows the movement of native possums.
An Australia flag sits proudly in a front window of the house facing the sprawling green field.
Behind the fence, the experienced outdoorsman keeps bees – his pride and joy.
Lynn had lived in the home with his wife Melanie and teenage son for at least 10 years.
Mother and son were often noticed sharing goodbyes before he scooted off on his bike to the nearby school, which she was also known to help out at.
On Wednesday, the home remained deserted as detectives continue to grill Lynn over the disappearance of the campers.
Neighbours told Daily Mail Australia Lynn had been noticeably present during Victoria’s six hard lockdowns.
Before then, the Jetstar pilot was usually only seen when he was heading out the door to go bush again – the couple’s great joy.
By all accounts the family had been happy, with not a hint of any issues – at least not that neighbours were aware of.
An Australian flag sits proudly in the top window of the Lynn’s property
Caroline Springs is surrounded by million dollar properties
Greg and Melanie Lynn appeared to have it all on the outside until police turned their lives upside down this week amid allegations of foul play by Greg
Melanie Lynn has been described as a friendly and caring person by her neighbours
Amin Khandakar said Lynn had mentioned his plight at the height of Covid hysteria in March last year.
‘When it was early in the Covid stuff we had a bit of a chat and like he did say there’s no job at the moment for him flying because all of the flights were grounded,’ he said.
Mr Khandakar said Mrs Lynn was often seen out and about in the neighbourhood.
‘I saw his wife most of the time. She’s really good. Even when she’s out I’ve seen her (at the reserve) picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin.’
While Mrs Lynn was described as open and engaging, her husband, while polite, was not the type to pour his heart out to the neighbours.
‘He’s like “Hi, hello” that’s about it. But he’s like you know a bit of a closed man too,’ Mr Khandakar said.
Another neighbour, Thanh, told Daily Mail Australia although she did not know Lynn well, he had always been friendly.
‘He’s (from a) very kind family and every time I see him, he says hello and smiles. And his wife too. They are lovely neighbours,’ she said.
The neighbours would often talk about simple things, such as their gardens, plants and Lynn’s new caravan.
‘He invited me to come to his backyard to see his bees, but we said “next time”,’ Thanh said.
‘They shared their vegetables with me and every time they go fishing they give me some fish.’
Thanh portrayed her neighbours as living an idealistic lifestyle that would make ordinary Australians green with envy.
‘They talk in the backyard, they never get into any fights. They are lovely and the couple always talk to each other very nicely. They are very close,’ she said.
‘He said him and his wife go camping sometimes and they love camping.’
The off-roader (pictured) which police are investigating whether was painted beige, was taken by police on Monday at a remote campsite in East Gippsland where heavily armed officers swooped on the suspect, north of Sale
The 4WD (pictured in a police sketch) has roof racks, side steps, off-road tyres and a bulbar. The box trailer is ‘fairly standard’ but has been fitted with ‘off-road wheels’
A 55-year-old man suspected of involvement in the disappearance of the missing couple was arrested on Monday
While Mrs Lynn was described as open and engaging, her husband (above), while polite, was not the type to pour his heart out to the neighbours
As Lynn continues to be held at a police station in Sale – in Victoria’s east – the mystery over when his 4WD changed from the colour blue to beige remains.
Detectives recently made a public appeal for information on a blue late 90s Nissan Patrol, which had been captured on CCTV in the area the capers had visited at the time.
The pilot’s Nissan Patrol is the same make and model as the one police were looking for and has the same roof rack – but it is beige, not blue.
‘They don’t park their car (outside). I only noticed their white car … I saw the beige car,’ Thanh said.
Mr Khandakar speculated the car may have changed colours in recent weeks.
‘I have no idea when he changed the colour (of the 4WD). I haven’t seen him for a while in the last couple of weeks. So probably he must have changed his car colour (then). But I’m not sure.’ Mr Khandakar.
Police descended on the Caroline Springs property on Monday, hours after taking Lynn into custody on the other side of the state.
Mr Khandakar said police had first arrived Lynn’s home in unmarked police cars before storming in.
‘They swamped his house … I thought he was at home getting arrested. There were a lot of forensic police cars, an unmarked van,’ he said.
It remains unclear if any of Lynn’s family was inside the home when at the time.
Jetstar – a Qantas subsidiary – has now stood down the senior pilot, although no charges had been laid as of Wednesday morning.
Melanie Lynn was described as ‘lovely’ by her neighbours
Ms Clay’s sister Jill Walker said the development in the case took her by surprise after so much heartache. Pictured: Carol Clay
Russel Hill (pictured) was an experienced bushman who new the remote area well – but has not been seen for 20 months
The pair went missing in the Wonnangatta Valley, more than 200km north east of Melbourne
Mr Hill’s white Toyota Landcruiser (pictured) was found with minor fire damage at their burnt campsite near Dry River Creek Track in the valley on March 21
An aerial view of the remote Wonnangatta Valley shows where the couple went camping