NSW's most notorious crooked police officer, Roger Rogerson, was on the run on Monday night as detectives sought to question him over the alleged murder of a Sydney university student during a botched drug deal.
Twenty-four hours after Mr Rogerson indicated he would return from Brisbane to Sydney to answer questions, police were on Monday night unsure if the 73-year-old was still in Queensland, where he was on a speaking tour. Detectives want to speak to Mr Rogerson in relation to the murder of 20-year-old Jamie Gao, at Padstow, in Sydney's south-west last Tuesday.
A former Kings Cross detective turned author, Glen McNamara, 55, on Monday faced Kogarah Local Court where he was charged with the business student's murder, and large-scale drug supply.
Only hours earlier a body, wrapped in a blue tarpaulin, was found floating off the coast at Cronulla by a fisherman. It is believed to be that of the missing Hurstville man.
Police will allege Mr Gao was killed after an arranged multimillion-dollar drug deal went wrong inside a rented storage shed last Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Rogerson's friend business identity ''Big'' Jim Byrnes said: "I beg him to come forward and give himself up." But he had "an awful feeling" Mr Rogerson would do anything to avoid arrest.
Mr Rogerson's wife, Anne Melocco, said she knew nothing about her husband's reported links to the alleged murder of Mr Gao.
Police will allege that Mr Gao, and two unknown associates, went to Padstow at 1.30pm last Tuesday with three kilograms of the drug ice, worth a potential $3 million on the street, to meet with Mr McNamara and a second man, believed to be Mr Rogerson. Mr Gao, Mr McNamara and the man believed to be Mr Rogerson got into a car and drove a few hundred metres to a nearby storage facility.
Police will allege three men walked into the storage shed but an hour later security footage shows only the two ex-police officers walking out. Mr Gao was reported missing to police the next day.
The head of the robbery and serious crime squad, Detective-Superintendent Luke Moore, said detectives were still trying to determine what had happened during that alleged drug deal.
He said Mr Gao had gone to the meeting voluntarily.
Mr McNamara's arrest on Sunday evening came only hours after Superintendent Moore appealed for information about the disappearance of the student, saying the circumstances suggested foul play.
Mr McNamara was pulled over during a traffic stop at Kyeemagh in Sydney's south and was questioned overnight before being charged with murder and drug offences. His Cronulla home has been searched by police and a Ford Falcon XR6 seized.
Mr Rogerson's Padstow Heights home was also searched and a car, a silver Ford Falcon, was taken away.
A third car, a silver Ford Falcon, was found at another location in Cronulla. It is this car detectives believe Mr Gao got into on Arab Road last Tuesday.
Mr Byrnes said Mr Rogerson had introduced him to Mr McNamara about 18 months ago. He described their relationship as "Roger Rogerson's friend of 25 years, colourful business identity … great contracts and Glen would've been the legman".
Mr Byrnes said he hired the pair to find evidence to clear his name over his 1983 jailing for possession of heroin.
The story Roger Rogerson on the run after body found by fisherman first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.