Deaths ‘struck a chord’ as police conclude site search

Samantha Lock and Jack Gramenz |

Police at a rural property at Bungonia where the bodies of two murdered men were found.
Police at a rural property at Bungonia where the bodies of two murdered men were found.

Floral tributes are stacked high outside an inner Sydney home where two young men were slain, as police investigate their murders, allegedly committed by one of their own.

Surfboard bags containing the bodies of Jesse Baird, 26, and Luke Davies, 29, were found at the fence line of a rural property in Bungonia near Goulburn, about 200km southwest of Sydney.

Family members who had travelled from interstate were given the news on Tuesday afternoon.

Tributes have been left at the Sydney scene where the two young men were allegedly murdered.

The discovery after a near week-long search for the pair came when their accused killer, Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, finally told police where to look after obtaining legal counsel.

An AFL umpire's guernsey among floral tributes at Paddington.
Former TV presenter Jesse Baird has been remembered as a committed AFL goal umpire. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

The 28-year-old is in custody charged with murdering the couple at Mr Baird’s home at Paddington, in inner-city Sydney, on February 19.

He has since been stood down without pay and the force has initiated dismissal proceedings.

“He has been served today in custody a show cause notice for his dismissal,” Police Commissioner Karen Webb told ABC 7.30. 

“The officer has 21 days to respond to me and I must consider it in a fair process, so that he has the opportunity to respond, before I can then take that next step.”

Detectives returned to the Paddington scene about 2pm on Wednesday, leaving soon after talking to a neighbour.

Local couple Peter Lovell and Paul Davidson said the deaths have struck a chord within their community.

“It’s awful,” Mr Lovell told AAP.

“We just can’t quite believe it’s happened,” he said.

Rosemary Gourham came from Sans Souci in Sydney’s south to pay her respects.

“They were so young and in love … their laundry is even still hanging up,” she told AAP.

There was no more space for flowers on the fence outside the Brown St terrace by noon on Wednesday as friends, family and members of the LGBTQI community left tributes.

“What a terrible tragedy … nobody deserves to be treated this way,” one card accompanying a bouquet read.

Another bouquet featured a scale-model Qantas plane in tribute to Mr Davies, who worked as a much-loved member of the airline’s cabin crew.

A model Qantas plane placed among flowers.
Luke Davies was a much-loved Qantas cabin crew member. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

An AFL umpire’s guernsey was left at the scene in honour of Mr Baird, who umpired 62 games, including two finals.

“Forever goal umpire #350, forever in our hearts,” a tribute read.

Mr Baird will be fondly remembered for his vibrant personality, professionalism and commitment to mentoring the next generation of umpires, the league’s chief executive Andrew Dillon said on Tuesday night.

“Most importantly, he will be remembered for the great, caring person that he was,” he said.

Police continued combing the Bungonia property for evidence before wrapping up a search of the site on Wednesday.

Lamarre-Condon moved the bodies from another location because of his “inability to dispose of them” there, Assistant Commissioner Michael Fitzgerald said.

Police line search at Bungonia
Officers do a line search at the site where the bodies of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies were found. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

Broadcaster Hamish McDonald paid tribute to Mr Baird, with whom he occasionally shared a dressing room when the pair worked together at Network Ten.

“There’s not a single person that didn’t love him at work,” he told ABC Radio.

Relatives at a property where the bodies of a couple were found.
Relatives arrive at a rural property where the bodies of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies were found. (Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS)

Gun safety processes within the NSW Police Force are being reviewed amid allegations the accused used his police-issued firearm to kill the couple.

Ms Webb said she was looking to move quickly on the issue.

“This person has been deceptive in the way he’s gone about the access to the firearm – that is not the behaviour we see of police officers doing their job every day,” she told Nine’s Today program.

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