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Bodies of Australian TV presenter and boyfriend found

Australian police have found the bodies of a TV presenter and his flight attendant boyfriend in a rural area outside Sydney, acting on information from a police officer charged with their murder.

The discovery ends an almost week-long high-profile search for the remains of entertainment journalist Jesse Baird, 26, and Qantas flight attendant Luke Davies, 29.

A 28-year-old serving police constable who had previously been in a relationship with Mr Baird has been charged with two counts of murder.

“We are very confident we have located Luke and Jesse,” said the head of New South Wales police Karen Webb, noting the families of the two victims had received the news with relief and sadness.

“This information did come with the assistance of the accused,” Ms Webb added.

Police have discovered two bodies believed to be those of Sydney couple Luke Davies and Jesse Baird
Police have discovered two bodies believed to be those of Sydney couple Luke Davies and Jesse Baird

Police believe the pair were shot at a home in central Sydney before being loaded into surfboard bags and transported to a rural property about two hours’ drive from the city.

Ballistics tests showed a projectile found at the apartment matched that of a police-issue firearm. The weapon was later found inside a police station safe.

Police allege the killings were “of a domestic nature” and not a “gay-hate crime”.

The bodies of the couple have yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination will be held to confirm the cause of death, police said.

‘Devastated’

The suspect had been a celebrity chaser and blogger before joining the police force.

He had been photographed with scores of stars including Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Ben Stiller.

He was previously investigated over the aggressive tasering of an Aboriginal man in 2020 after a video of the incident emerged online.

News reports from 2014 indicate that he came out publicly as gay by throwing a letter onstage at a Lady Gaga concert, which the star read out to a crowd that included his sister.

The couple’s deaths have shocked many Australians, notably within the LGBTQ community.

Organisers of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras asked police not to join the annual parade this Saturday, one of the city’s biggest festive events.

People needed “space to grieve” for the couple, they said in a statement, with LGBTQ communities across Australia “devastated”.

‘Enormous tragedy’

The state’s police chief said officers had taken part in Mardi Gras for 20 years.

“I would hate to see that this is the year we are excluded because of the actions of one person that is not gay-hate related,” Ms Webb said.

“That would be a real travesty for this organisation to be excluded.”

Local media said negotiations were under way between police and parade organisers, with one option under discussion being to allow police to take part out of uniform.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said relations with the police had improved since the first Mardi Gras parade in 1978 ended with dozens of arrests.

“But I understand that the queer community in Sydney in particular, are grieving what is an enormous tragedy,” Mr Albanese said.

“My heart goes out to those who are grieving, from the family and friends of these two men who’ve really suffered.”


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