Attempted Burglary Suspect Arrested in Connection With Newport Beach Double Homicide

A man who was already in custody on suspicion of two attempted residential burglaries in Irvine was arrested Thursday in connection with the killings of two people in a Newport Beach home over the weekend, officials said.

Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, of Huntington Beach, pictured in a photo released by the Newport Beach Police Department following his arrest on April 25, 2019.

Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, of Huntington Beach, pictured in a photo released by the Newport Beach Police Department following his arrest on April 25, 2019.

Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, was arrested on suspicion of killing Darren Partch, 38, and Wendi Miller, 48, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.

The pair were found dead by Partch's roommate in an apartment along the 2100 Block of East 15th Street about 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Miller, of Costa Mesa, was described as a well-liked mother of two from Costa Mesa who ran a nonprofit that worked to help children within the family court system. Partch was a hockey player turned account executive.

The pair 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, and when she didn't come home, her family started circulating a missing person post on social media and contacting news outlets.

Their exact cause of death has not been released, but investigators said they found no signs of forced entry at the apartment.

Buggs was arrested Monday in connection with a series of attempted burglaries that also occurred over the weekend in Irvine.

The first attempted burglary investigated in Irvine connected to Buggs occurred about 11:35 p.m. Saturday. The incident was interrupted by the resident and the suspect was scared off, according to Irvine police. The suspect fired a single round from a gun, and a bullet was found lodged outside the home.

The second attempted burglary occurred about 5 a.m. Sunday, but was reported later that afternoon. The home owner reviewed surveillance video and saw that the suspect had tried to open the front door, but no entry was made and the suspect ran away.

Wendi Miller, 48, of Costa Mesa, and Darren Partch, 38, of Newport Beach are seen in these photos provided by friends.

Police investigating the two incidents in the neighborhood spotted a suspicious vehicle about 12:15 a.m. Monday. Officers tried to stop the vehicle and a short pursuit ensued. The driver, later identified as Buggs, allegedly crashed the vehicle and ran into a nearby backyard. Buggs then allegedly broke into an unoccupied home and was there for hours before he ran out about 4 a.m., police said. He was eventually taken into custody. Irvine police SWAT officers, the Anaheim Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff's Department were called to assist with the incident.

For that incident, Buggs was arrested and booked on suspicion of attempted burglary, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, possession of a firearm by a felon, and hit-and-run, police said.

He is being held on $1,000,000 bail pending double murder charges, expected to be filed Friday, Newport Beach police said.

No further details about the homicide investigation, or how Buggs was identified as the suspect, were released Thursday.

A memorial service and visitation for Partch is scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Forest Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park & Mortuary, 1625 Gisler Avenue in Costa Mesa.

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