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Huntington Beach man arrested in Newport Beach double slaying

Huntington Beach man arrested in Newport Beach double slaying
Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, was arrested on suspicion of killing Wendi Miller, 48, of Costa Mesa and Darren Partch, 38, of Newport Beach. Their bodies were found Sunday night in Partch's residence. (Newport Beach Police Department)

A Huntington Beach man who was already in custody on suspicion of two attempted residential burglaries in Irvine was arrested Thursday in connection with the slayings of two people whose bodies were found in a Newport Beach condominium last weekend, police said.

The Newport Beach Police Department said Jamon Rayon Buggs, 44, was arrested on suspicion of killing Wendi Miller, 48, of Costa Mesa and Darren Partch, 38, who lived in the residence in the 2100 block of East 15th Street. They were found dead Sunday night when Partch’s roommate arrived home after a few days away, authorities said.

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Police said Thursday that the two had been shot.

Buggs was already in custody after an unrelated arrest earlier this week, according to police and jail records. It wasn’t initially clear how police linked him to the homicides. Newport Beach police spokeswoman Heather Rangel declined to comment.

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Buggs, a personal trainer, was charged Tuesday with four felony counts and one misdemeanor in connection with attempted burglaries Saturday and Sunday in Irvine, including one instance in which he is accused of discharging a weapon into a home, according to court records. The Irvine Police Department arrested him Monday, authorities said.

Buggs was booked into Orange County Jail with bail set at $1 million. He is scheduled to appear in court May 1, jail records show.

The first alleged attempted burglary occurred about 11:35 p.m. Saturday and was interrupted by a resident, according to Irvine police. The would-be burglar fired a single round from a gun, and a bullet was found lodged outside the home.

The second case occurred about 5 a.m. Sunday but was reported that afternoon. The homeowner reviewed surveillance video and saw that someone had tried to open the front door, but no entry was made and the would-be burglar ran away, police said.

Police investigating the two incidents saw a suspicious vehicle about 12:15 a.m. Monday, authorities said. Officers tried to stop the vehicle and a short pursuit followed. The driver crashed the vehicle and ran into a nearby backyard, police said. The driver then broke into an unoccupied home and was there for hours before he ran out about 4 a.m., police said.

The suspect taken into custody was later identified as Buggs.

Irvine police SWAT officers, the Anaheim Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department were called to assist with the incident.

Wendi Miller, 48, and Darren Partch, 38, are seen in photos provided by friends. Their bodies were found Sunday night in Partch's residence in Newport Beach.
Wendi Miller, 48, and Darren Partch, 38, are seen in photos provided by friends. Their bodies were found Sunday night in Partch's residence in Newport Beach. (KTLA)

Miller, a mother of two, was last seen around 1:45 a.m. Saturday after going to a Laguna Beach bar, according to friends who launched an awareness campaign on social media after she went missing.

Friends said she was going to give Partch a ride home; the two lived a few blocks from each other.

Miller was chief executive of Wings for Justice, a Newport Beach nonprofit that advocates for children in the family court system. She also was an advocate for people who have experienced domestic violence.

Partch worked in Irvine as an account executive, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was a former hockey player. He last played for the San Diego Gulls in the East Coast Hockey League in the 2005-06 season.

Visitation and memorial services for Partch are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park & Mortuary, 1625 Gisler Ave., Costa Mesa.

This article was originally published at 4:55 p.m. April 25 and was later updated with additional information.

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