Roommate finds bodies of man and woman inside locked Newport Beach apartment

A police vehicle is parked Monday outside a Newport Beach apartment where a man and a woman were found dead the night before. The apartment complex is in the 2100 block of East 15th Street.
(Julia Sclafani / Daily Pilot)

Detectives on Monday were working to unravel the mystery of a double homicide in Newport Beach after the bodies of a man and woman were discovered inside a locked apartment hours earlier.

Newport Beach police received a call shortly before 9:30 p.m. Sunday from a man who said he found the bodies of his roommate and a woman whom he didn’t know inside his apartment in the 2100 block of East 15th Street, said Heather Rangel, a police spokeswoman.

Police have not released details about how the two died. Investigators suspect they were specifically targeted by an assailant, though a motive for the killings was not immediately clear. Their names and ages were not released.

There were no signs of forced entry, and the apartment was locked when the roommate returned home, Rangel said.


Crime scene investigators were at the complex, across the street from Newport Harbor High School in the Newport Heights neighborhood, on Monday.

Neighbor Debbie Moore-Miller said two men, whom she described as “young professionals,” lived in the unit.

Newport Beach typically sees one or two homicides annually, but some years it has none. From 2008-18, the city had six years that didn’t have a single killing, according to crime data.

This incident marks the city’s fifth homicide this year.

The first three slayings were part of a triple homicide inside a home in the gated Bonita Canyon community.

In that incident, prosecutors allege Camden Nicholson, 28, killed his parents — Richard Nicholson, 64, and Kim Nicholson, 61 — and the couple’s housekeeper, Maria Morse, 57, of Anaheim. He has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

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