Arrest may be near in mysterious double murder of CEO mom and former hockey player in Newport Beach

Authorities in Orange County, California, may be narrowing in on a suspect behind a mysterious double murder in Newport Beach this weekend.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Wendi Miller, 48, and Darren Partch, 38, were found dead in Partch’s Newport Beach condominium on Sunday. Partch’s roommate, who said he did not know Miller, reportedly found the pair dead when he arrived home on Sunday night, and told police that the apartment was locked.

Miller’s son confirmed his mother’s death in a Facebook post on Monday, saying that she had been shot to death. Police have not yet revealed the specific cause of death, or a possible motive.

Though there was reportedly no sign of forced entry into the condominium unit, authorities have appeared to be confident since the start of the investigation that both Miller and Partch were homicide victims, and the Los Angeles Times reports that investigators believe the pair was targeted.

Partch was a former minor league hockey player, and a LinkedIn profile indicates that he was most recently an account executive at a marketing firm. Miller was the CEO of the criminal justice advocacy nonprofit Wings for Justice, and said in a company video located by the Los Angeles Times that she had been the victim of domestic and sexual violence during a marriage.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Miller was last seen at a Laguna Beach bar at about 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, and friends reportedly said that she was planning to give Partch a ride home, as the two lived near each other. The precise nature of their relationship is not yet known.

Newport Beach police spokesperson Heather Rangel indicated in an interview with the Orange County Register that authorities may have identified a person of interest. When asked if police anticipated an arrest, Rangel said, “I certainly hope so.”

“It’s an active investigation. I can’t get into the specifics of the case in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” she said.


[Feature image: Wendi Miller/Facebook; Darren Partch/Facebook]