Police find bodies of murdered reporter Jesse Baird and his boyfriend

Luke Davies and Jesse Baird are missing and suspected murdered by gay police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon
Luke Davies and Jesse Baird are missing and suspected murdered by gay police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon

The story has been updated to include new details in the case.

Police in Australia on Tuesday disclosed they have located the bodies of missing and murdered former television reporter, Jessee Baird, and his flight attendant boyfriend, Luke Davies.

"We are very confident that we have located Luke and Jesse," Karen Webb, New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Karen Webb said earlier today as reported by the BBC and other media sources.

A gay police officer, Senior-Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, 28, has been charged with using his service Glock firearm to shoot and kill the pair. After being uncooperative since his arrest last Friday, Lamarre-Condon reportedly revealed the location of Baird and Davies to police.

At a press conference on Monday, police provided further details in the disappearance and murder of Baird and Davies, according to 9 News Australia and other media sources.

Police allege that Lamarre-Condon killed Barre and Davies shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday, February 19, at the former reporter’s home in Sydney, New South Wales. Lamarre-Condon, a former celebrity influencer who gained temporary fame after he came out at a Lady Gaga concert, was reportedly involved in a sporadic sexual relationship with Baird. Police theorized Lamarre-Condon killed the couple because he was angry Baird ended their relationship late last year.

Baird was a television host and red carpet reporter for Australia’s Network 10’s morning show until it was canceled in December. Davies was a flight attendant for Qantas Airlines. The pair gushed about their relationship in numerous posts on social media.

At a press conference held in Sydney on Monday, NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner David Hudson gave an update on the case and investigation and took dozens of questions from the press.

Hudson painted a twisted murder mystery with over half a dozen bloody crime scenes, two missing bodies, and the unsettling fact that a fellow officer stands accused of the crime.

Hudson said Baird returned to his Paddington district home with Davies following a pre-Mardi Gras party around midnight on Monday, February 19. Neighbors heard an argument between midnight and 5:30 a.m. and heard gunshots around 9:50 a.m. but reported neither to police at the time. A call was placed from Davies’s cell phone to 000, the Australian version of 911, at 9:54 a.m. shortly after the gunshots, but was disconnected before operators were able to pinpoint an exact location.

Hudson said Lamarre-Condon reportedly rented a white van from the airport in Sydney later that evening.

Hudson theorized that Lamarre-Condon entered the property where he shot and killed Baird and Davies shortly before 10 a.m. and later rented the van to dispose of the bodies.

The following day on Tuesday, February 20, Lamarre-Condon called in sick to work and Hudson said that “partial admissions were made by the accused to an acquaintance of having been involved in the death of two individuals.”

That evening, multiple text messages were sent from Baird’s phone to friends, but police allege that Lamarre-Condon sent the texts to mislead investigators as he disposed of the bodies over the following days.

On Wednesday, February 21, Lamarre-Condon was absent without notice from work. Also on Wednesday, workers found bloody clothing and other identifiable possessions belonging to Baird in a trash can in Cronulla in southeastern Sydney. Police were alerted and a missing persons investigation was launched. Hudson said the evidence at the scene also caused authorities to notify homicide investigators.

Hudson said that on the same day, Lamarre-Condon and an acquaintance took the van to Bungonia, a rural area 115 miles southwest of Sydney. Along the way, Hudson said the acquaintance helped Lamarre-Condon purchase an angle saw and a padlock before going to what has been described as a weekend farm he knew from a former relationship.

Once at the farm, Lamarre-Condon used the saw to cut off the existing lock on the gate, then left the acquaintance at the gate while he took the van into the property out of sight for 30 minutes. When he returned, he reportedly put the new padlock on the gate and returned with the acquaintance to Sydney.

Hudson theorized that Lamarre-Condon hid the bodies in the back of the van and transported them to the farm in Bungonia where he disposed of them.

Hudson described the acquaintance as “a longtime friend of the accused” but stressed the individual was unaware that the bodies of Baird and Davies might have been in the van on the drive to Bungonia.

“The acquaintance is not a suspect in this matter,” Hudson said. “We believe she was an innocent agent.”

Hudson said Lamarre-Condon purchased weights from a department store in Sydney around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. He said police are now looking at the missing gap between 11 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and speculated Lamarre-Condon might have returned to the Bungonia property to further hide the bodies either on the property or at another location.

Hudson alleged Lamarre-Condon left the Bungonia area in the van around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 22. He traveled to visit a friend in Newcastle north of Sydney, who police say let him use a garden to hose to wash out the van. This friend has been identified as fellow NSW Police officer, Renee Fortuna, by the Daily Mail. Police stressed this friend was not involved in the crime and was unaware she was potentially aiding in covering up a double homicide.

Hudson said Lamarre-Condon returned to Sydney on Friday morning. Also that morning his phone began accepting calls, and he turned himself into authorities a short time later.

At the time of yesterday's press conference, police had yet to discover the location of Baird and Davies, and Hudson stressed police were not just conducting a homicide investigation but were also trying to locate their bodies. He said Lamarre-Condon has been uncooperative with their efforts.

“The accused has refused at this stage to tell us or assist us with our inquiries in our relation to that [locating the bodies],” Hudson said tersely at the press conference. “However, those inquiries will be ongoing as well.”

Police revealed other disturbing details in the case predating the disappearance. Baird reportedly told friends he was being stalked and that his home had been broken into multiple times. Police said on one of those occasions someone accessed Baird’s phone and deleted contacts before leaving the property. They believe Lamarre-Condon was responsible and used a key still in his possession to enter Baird’s home. Baird reported the crime to police in August.

The suspected murder at the hands of a gay police officer has sent shockwaves through the local LGBTQ+ community as it begins Sydney Mardi Gras, the city’s version of Pride celebrations. Police today said they would honor the request of the organizers and not participate in the planned march.

NSW Police were also the subject of a special government commission created to examine the infamous murders of gay men in Australia starting in the late 1970s.

The Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ Hate Crimes in New South Wales examined the 80-plus unsolved deaths from 1976 to 2000 that took place on the picturesque cliffs surrounding Bondi Beach and Manley in NSW. Both areas were popular meeting places for men looking to have sex with other men during the period.

Lamarre-Condon did not request bail at his brief hearing on Friday. He is scheduled to appear at the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court on April 23.