Policeman charged with murder of missing Sydney duo

February 23, 2024
Luke Davies and Jesse Baird
Luke Davies and Jesse Baird

SYDNEY — A 28-year-old police officer has been charged with murdering missing Australian TV personality Jesse Baird and his friend Luke Davies.

Detectives launched a frantic search on Wednesday after the couple's bloodied items were found in a bin near Sydney.

Beau Lamarre, Baird's ex-friend, was being sought by police and handed himself in for questioning on Friday.

Detectives say they are yet to locate the men's bodies or confirm their cause of death.

Police allege the duo were killed on Monday inside Baird's house in Paddington, an inner Sydney suburb, before their bodies were moved in a white van.

Witnesses told investigators they heard "shouting" and a "verbal argument" that morning, and the rented van was captured at the scene on CCTV footage that evening. The van was found in Sydney's south on Friday morning.

New South Wales Police have said a bullet matching Lamarre's work-issued gun was found at the crime scene in Paddington, as was a "significant" amount of blood and upturned furniture.

Lamarre did not turn up to work on Tuesday, but the senior constable's gun was later located in a safe at a police station, Det Supt Daniel Doherty told reporters.

Police have also seized blood-stained clothes, a phone and credit cards from an industrial bin in Cronulla, 28km (17 miles) away from the crime scene, and a number of items from a house in Balmain.

Det Supt Doherty said Lamarre was also believed to have travelled to Newcastle - 170km north of the crime scene - at some point after the alleged killings.

He said information gleaned from Lamarre so far had "not assisted" the investigation but tip-offs from the public had been a great help. He again appealed for anyone with information to contact police.

"It's really important that we do locate the bodies, not only for the cause of death but for answers for the family... They are obviously devastated," Det Supt Doherty said.

Baird had been a presenter and red carpet reporter on Network 10's morning show Studio 10 until the program was axed in December, while Davies was a flight attendant for Qantas.

Lamarre joined the police force in 2019 and was previously a celebrity blogger who had met stars including Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus.

Det Supt Doherty declined to identify a motive for the alleged crimes but said Lamarre's relationship with Baird had ended "a couple of months ago", "so that's an obvious line of inquiry".

Lamarre was refused bail and appeared in court on Friday afternoon. — BBC

February 23, 2024
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