A gardener whose grim discovery at the back of a popular club sparked an urgent search for a TV presenter and her boyfriend was seen having a quiet beer with friends when police announced the bodies of the missing couple had been found.
‘Tommy’ discovered bloody clothes in a bin behind the Cronulla Club on Wilbar Avenue, in the Sutherland Shire, south of Sydney, at 11am on February 21.
A mobile phone, a credit card and an $8,000 watch were also found and NSW Police linked the items to Qantas flight attendant Luke Davies, 29, and Jesse Baird, 26.
NSW Police Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, 28, handed himself in to police and was charged with murder by the missing couple.
Detectives began a search for their bodies through bushland and dams before finding their remains on a rural property, 180 kilometers south of Sydney, on Tuesday.
Gardener Tommy has a beer hours after the bodies of two men were discovered
Also found in the trash were bloody clothes belonging to Mr Davies, a phone, credit cards, keys and an $8,000 watch.
The investigation into the double murder began at 11am on February 21, when bloody clothes, belonging to Mr Davies, were found in the Cronulla bin.
Commissioner Karen Webb praised the police for their tireless efforts, while the families of Davies and Baird welcomed the news with a mixture of sadness and relief.
Tommy opted to have a few quiet drinks with friends after the news of the breakthrough in the investigation into the alleged murders.
The gardener drank a beer while sitting on a balcony at the Cronulla Club, the same place where he first discovered the bloody clothes.
Tommy remained silent to the public throughout the investigation and chose to stay out of the spotlight.
Lamarre-Condon is currently at the Silverwater Correctional Complex in western Sydney..
The defendant waited until he finally spoke to a lawyer before allegedly helping police find Baird and Davies’ bodies.
Mr Baird’s heartbroken family arrived at the remote bush grave hours after police announced they had found the remains.
The entertainment journalist’s bereaved relatives arrived in Bungonia in several cars as the sun slowly began to set.
They all looked solemn as they spoke to police and were escorted by several women wearing sunglasses.
Police allege the pair were shot dead at Baird’s Paddington home last Monday before being loaded into surfboard bags and transported to a rural property where they were hidden under rocks.
Four of Mr. Baird’s relatives, sitting in a blue car, were followed by another relative who was traveling alone in a black vehicle.
After arriving at the scene, officers took the group to the location where the couple’s bodies were found inside surf bags, covered in dirt and rocks, next to a fence in bushes.
Tommy remained silent in the public eye during the investigation and the humble gardener decided to stay out of the spotlight.
The humble gardener was seen with a beer while chatting to his friends at the Cronulla Club on Tuesday.
Relatives spent about 15 minutes with Mr Baird’s body before leaving the scene.
Back in Sydney, Baird and Davies’ devastated friends gathered at Brontë Beach for a vigil.
Commissioner Webb revealed that detectives were led to the location of the bodies on Tuesday with the help of Lamarre-Condon after he was questioned in prison this morning.
She said: “I would also like to say that this information came with the help of the defendant, so we are very grateful and I am sure the families are very grateful.”
But a grieving friend of Mr Baird accused Commissioner Webb of using inappropriate language to describe accused killer Lamarre-Condon during his “disaster” press conference.
Mitch Swanson wrote on social media: “Saying how GRATEFUL they are for [Lamarre-Condon] for revealing information is just another blow to his family and friends.
He doesn’t deserve any kind of thanks. The way the police have handled this is an absolute disaster.’
Swanson later added that suggesting Baird’s family and friends were “grateful” for Lamarre-Condon revealing the location was “a silly thing to say.”
Detective Sergeant Sasha Pinazza, looking exhausted, broke down in tears while addressing the media on Tuesday.
Detective Sergeant Pinazza admitted at the conference that when police stopped the search after dark in Bungonia, in the New South Wales Southern Highlands, on Monday without finding the remains of Baird and Davies, they were despondent.
“We met again this morning and we have had a wonderful result for the families,” he said.
Detective Sergeant Pinazza and another officer, Detective Chief Inspector Glen Browne, are believed to have been the police officers who visited accused murderer Beau Lamarre-Condon in Silverwater prison at around 11am on Tuesday morning.
Lamarre-Condon is alleged to have driven to the Southern Tablelands last Wednesday in a van rented from an acquaintance and purchased an angle driver and lock along the way.
Floral tributes from friends, family and well-wishers adorn the outside porch of Jesse Baird’s Paddington home