Wendi Miller, [left], and ex-pro hockey player Darren Partch, [right], were discovered dead in a Newport Beach Condo. Police are investigating the incident as a suspected double homicide
A California mom who’d been missing since Friday night and a former pro hockey player were found dead in his Newport Beach condominium Sunday in what police are calling a possible double-homicide.
Newport Beach police are still trying to figure out events two days after a man and a woman later identified as Darren Partch, a former pro-hockey player, and Wendi Miller, the prominent CEO of a non-profit that is dedicated to preventing violence against children, were found dead
The bodies of Partch, 38, and Miller, 48, who various reports have referred toas “friends,” were discovered on April 21 inside the Villa Siena Complex in Newport Beach.
The male victim’s roommate reported finding him and a woman the caller didn’t know inside their residence around 9:30 p.m., on Sunday night.
The county coroner later identified the woman as Wendi Miller, a well-liked mother of two from Costa Mesa who ran Wings for Justice, a nonprofit that worked to help children within the family court system.
Miller and Partch, a hockey player turned digital marketing executive, were last seen near the Sandpiper Bar in Laguna Beach around 1:45 a.m. Saturday, according to friends.
Miller planned to give Partch a ride home since the two lived just a few blocks away from each other, her friends said. When she didn’t come home, her family started circulating a missing person post on social media and contacting news outlets.
On Sunday at 9:30 p.m., Newport Beach police responded to a 911 call from a man who returned to his upscale condo to find the bodies of his roommate, Darren Partch, as well as a woman he did not recognize, later identified by the Orange County coroner as Miller, of Costa Mesa.
Police are investigating. They have said the crime was an isolated incident with no sign of forced entry, local ABC affiilate KABC reports.
Wendi Miller’s son wrote an emotional post on Facebook Miller on Sunday, announcing his mom’s tragic death and thanking everyone for their support
Miller had been missing since late Friday night. On Saturday, her son, Luke Carpenter, went on Facebook to plead for her safe return.
Newport Beach resident James Kwast says Miller had given Partch a ride home Friday night after they left the Sandpiper bar in Laguna Beach, where she was last seen.
“They hit it off,” Kwast told the latimes. “They had a great time down in Laguna Beach. He needed a ride home. She was known for giving people rides home whenever they needed it.”
A friend of Miller’s told local CBS affiliate KCAL that Miller had texted friends early Saturday morning saying she was OK, KCAL reports.
“From what I understand it just said, ‘We made it safely. Did you make it home OK?’” the unidentified friend told KCAL.
“She was checking in but she didn’t say where she was and she wasn’t home.”
A well-known social justice advocate in the community, Miller was chief executive of Wings for Justice, a nonprofit that works to protect children in the family court system.
On Sunday, Miller’s son wrote an emotional post on Facebook announcing his mom’s tragic death and thanking everyone for their support, saying, “She had been shot and it was told to us that she did not suffer. The police are still investigating all the details,” the post read.
It continued, “I have no doubt in my mind that she was loved on earth and I’m happy that she gets to be loved even better in heaven. I love you mom.”
A statement released by Miller’s family says, “Wendi lit up every room she entered,” KABC reports. “She was an amazing, loving mother. She was joy and light and love.”
Partch worked as a finance and credit consultant, KABC reports. He played on several minor league hockey teams over the years, according to Pointstreak.com.
“Darren was a great guy,” Kwast told the Times. “My first interaction with him, he was very calming. He’s very likable.”