Few Details Emerge After Woman, Man Are Found Dead in Newport Beach Apartment

Few answers have emerged two days after a man and a woman were discovered dead inside an apartment in Newport Beach on Sunday night.

The roommate of Darren Partch, 38, reported finding him and a woman the caller didn't know inside their residence at the Villa Siena complex around 9:30 p.m., according to Newport Beach police.

The county coroner later identified the woman as 48-year-old Wendi Miller, a well-liked mother of two from Costa Mesa who ran a nonprofit that worked to help children within the family court system.

Miller and Partch, a hockey player turned account 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 Monday, Miller's son took to Facebook and said his mother had been shot. Newport Beach police soon announced that she and Partch had been killed inside the apartment and that they were investigating the case as a double homicide.

Investigators also said they found no signs of forced entry at the apartment, and that they don't believe there was any threat to the public.

Mary Lu, Miller's mother,  described hearing news of her daughter's death as the worst nightmare any mother can imagine. Police said her daughter didn't suffer, and Lu said she's grateful for that.

Debbie Basarich described her friend and neighbor as a good person who's the  life of the party.

"Anytime she did enter a room she was just so bubbly," Basarich said. "She was very compassionate about her work. She loved her kids."

Anyone with information can contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797.

 

 

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