Policeman charged with murder of TV presenter, boyfriend


Jesse Baird had been a presenter on Australia's Network Ten. Photo: Jesse Baird/Instagram

Australian police on Friday charged one of their own officers with the double murder of a TV presenter and his flight attendant boyfriend, whose bodies have yet to be found.

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said a 28-year-old serving police constable was charged with two counts of murder, after a high-profile three-day search across Sydney.

Earlier this week, the chance discovery of bloodied clothes in a suburban rubbish bin led detectives to the home of former red carpet host and entertainment journalist Jesse Baird, 26.

On searching Baird's inner-city flat, detectives said they found "a large amount of blood" and held "grave concerns" for both him and his boyfriend, Qantas flight attendant Luke Davies, 29.

The pair are presumed dead.

A projectile found at the apartment matched that of a police-issue firearm.

The weapon has since been found inside a police station safe.

The accused officer was said to have been in a relationship with Baird until recently, when it ended badly.

Baird had been a presenter on Australia's Network Ten.

On Friday the officer turned himself in to Bondi Police Station, near the country's famed beach.

Footage of the arrest shows him handcuffed and escorted into the building wearing a dark baseball cap and sneakers.

He remains in custody and police will oppose granting bail.

Australian media reported that the suspect had been a celebrity chaser and blogger before joining the police force, and had been photographed with Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Ben Stiller and scores of others.

He was previously investigated over the aggressive tasering of an Aboriginal man in 2020, after 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.

"Charges have been submitted for two counts of murder," said Doherty, adding that the police focus was now on locating the bodies of the two missing men.

Police allege the remains of the two men were transported in a white van and disposed of.

Forensic examinations of the van are ongoing.

"It's really important that we do locate the bodies, not only for the cause of death but also for answers for the family who are grieving," said Doherty. – AFP

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