A man who was already in custody on suspicion of burglarizing two homes in Irvine, Calif. was arrested Thursday in connection with the slayings of a former professional hockey player and a mother of two in Newport Beach, Calif.
Wendi Miller, 48, and Darren Partch, 38, were discovered dead in Partch’s condominium Sunday evening when his roommate returned home from an Easter weekend getaway. Police were called to the home around 9:30 p.m. and did not detect any sign of forced entry.
Police said suspect Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, of Huntington Beach, was being held at the Orange County Jail on suspicion of breaking into two homes in Irvine on April 20-21 when police charged him in the double homicide case, FOX 11 of Los Angeles reported.
Buggs was booked on suspicion of attempted burglary, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, and possession of a firearm by a felon, and hit-and-run for a previous incident before being slapped with the double murder charges, KTLA-TV reported.
He was being held on $1 million bond.
Friends told police they last saw Miller and Partch early Saturday morning when Miller offered to give Partch a ride home from a bar. Authorities announced Monday they were investigating the deaths as homicides without disclosing the nature of the relationship between the two.
Partch previously played minor league hockey as a forward for teams including the Waterloo Black Hawks and San Diego Gulls, according to Hockeydb.com.
Miller was the CEO of Wings for Justice, a nonprofit organization that advocates for children in the family court system. She worked for more than 12 years as a licensed psychologist in California and Michigan counseling children, individuals, couples and families and authored two books related to treating domestic violence victims, according to her online biography.
Luke Carpenter, identified by the Mercury News of San Jose as Miller’s son, wrote on Facebook that his mother was fatally shot. He added, “It was told to us that she did not suffer. The police are still investigating all the details.”
According to police, Buggs’ first attempted burglary occurred Saturday evening. He allegedly tried to break into a home in Irvine around 11:35 p.m. before the homeowner confronted him. Police said Buggs fled the scene, firing a single round outside the residence, KTLA reported.
A second homeowner reported an attempted burglary Sunday after reviewing surveillance footage that allegedly showed Buggs trying to force his way into the front door around 5 a.m. before fleeing, police said.
Police attempted to pull over a suspicious vehicle in the area around 12:15 a.m. Monday. The driver, later identified as Buggs, refused to stop before crashing his vehicle and running into an unoccupied home. Irvine police SWAT officers, the Anaheim Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the scene before Buggs eventually surrendered around 4 a.m.
Anyone with information about Buggs’s location before his arrest, or the case in general, are encouraged to call Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797. The investigation is ongoing.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.
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