Darren Partch and Woman Found Dead in a Condo Were Not a Murder-Suicide, Police Confirms

Odette Odendaal
Apr 26, 2019
12:35 P.M.
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The recent deaths of former hockey pro, Darren Partch, and Wendi Miller, a 48-year-old mother of two in Newport Beach are being investigated as a double-homicide.

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Police responded to a 911 call from Darren’s roommate on Sunday at 9:27 pm. He had just returned to their upscale Newport Beach apartment and told the dispatcher that he found the bodies of his 38-year-old roommate, as well as a woman he didn’t know.

Wendi Miller and Darren Partch. | Source: YouTube/Nung Doraemon K100

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The Los Angeles Times later reported that the woman got identified as Wendi Miller who lived in Costa Mesa. PEOPLE also confirmed that police are investigating the case as a double-homicide, and not a murder-suicide.

Police spokeswoman, Heather Rangel told PEOPLE that there were no signs of forced entry and no threat to the public, which lead to suspicions of murder-suicide.

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“This is a double homicide case,” Heather said. “The only information that I can give you is that our detectives are working tirelessly each day and night to bring closure to this case.”

The police department said in a statement that “at this time” they are “conducting an active homicide investigation. There appears to be no ongoing threat, and the police did not elaborate on whether they have found any persons of interest or suspects in connection to Darren and Wendi’s deaths.

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According to Newport Beach resident, James Kwast, the two last got seen near the Sandpiper Bar in Laguna Beach around 1:45 am on Saturday when Wendi gave Darren a ride home.

Wendi’s son, Luke Carpenter, posted on Facebook that his mother had been missing since late Friday night.

James told the Times that the pair “hit it off” and that Wendi often gave those that needed it, a ride home.

As chief executive of the nonprofit, Wings for Justice, Wendi advocated for the rights of children in the family court system. Luke announced his mom’s death with a heartbreaking post on Facebook, “She had been shot, and it was told to us that she did not suffer.”

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During his earlier years, he competed in the lower hockey leagues from 1999 until 2006. Darren worked as a finance and credit consultant according to KABC.

Police urge anyone with information about the case to call Det. Rick Henry at (949) 644-3797.

Wendi’s family first got alarmed when she didn’t show up for Easter festivities. She had previously posted a video on the Wings for Justice website where she claimed to have been sexually abused during her marriage.

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However, a person who claims to know the situation told the Daily Pilot that her accusations were “unfounded.” The person further alleged that Wendi had lost custody of her two children over eight years ago, but an initial public records check gave no details about the matter.

One of Wendi’s neighbors, Terri Rawson said that she was “a really sweet lady who would do anything for you” and that her death is “shocking and heartbreaking.”

Relatedly, Newport police solved a 45-year-old murder case late last year when they came up with an ingenious way to catch the person who killed 11-year-old Linda O’Keefe after she disappeared on July 6, 1973.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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