Police Files

Possible motives emerge in murder of Wendi Miller and Darren Partch, last seen in Laguna Beach

Media reports are saying that double-murder suspect Jamon Buggs “was possibly after men he believed had a romantic history with a woman from his past,” according to detectives.

Those reports came following Buggs’ attempted burglaries in Irvine where he allegedly went “looking for a Caucasian man by the name of Jared.” Instead, Buggs came across a residence with a man by that same name, but of Asian descent. 

Meanwhile, according to Eyewitness News, suspicious surveillance footage has surfaced which includes a man “resembling Buggs.” A resident of Corona del Mar told the television station that his vehicle was broken into a week ago Friday. “Three days earlier, the same suspect (Buggs) was seen in his neighbor’s backyard in Corona del Mar.”

The CdM resident added that his former neighbor was Darren Partch, one of the victims in the double homicide.

Still, however, police officials are saying that there is no evidence that Wendi Miller, the other victim, had any prior interaction with Buggs.
Police Files Buggs

Courtesy of Irvine Police Department

Jamon Rayon Buggs

Yesterday, Buggs was in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach for his scheduled arraignment, however, it was postponed until May 17. He is currently being held without bail.

His charges include the two counts of murder, attempted burglary of an inhabited dwelling, discharging a gun at an inhabited dwelling, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, Buggs faces a minimum sentence of life without the possibility of parole and a maximum sentence of the death penalty. 

Buggs had a prior conviction for an assault on a police officer in San Diego County in 1995.

Buggs is accused of murdering Darren Donald Partch, 38, of Newport Beach, and Wendi Sue Miller, 48 of Costa Mesa. The two were found deceased inside a residence in the 2100 block of East 15th Street in Newport Beach on the evening of April 21.

Partch and Miller were last seen at the Loft and Sandpiper in Laguna Beach early Saturday morning, April 20, at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Miller was the CEO for the nonprofit organization Wings for Justice, an advocacy group for children in the family court system. Partch was a former minor league hockey player and most recently worked for Atrinsic, an Irvine-based financial services company, as an account executive.

Funeral arrangements for both have been planned. For Miller, a service is scheduled for this Friday, May 3 at 2 p.m., at Mariners Church in Irvine in the Community Center. For Partch, there is a Celebration of Life planned for Saturday, May 4 at the Harbor Lawn-Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary in Costa Mesa at 5:30 p.m.

Accident downs pole, closes Canyon for hours on Monday

On Monday, April 29, at 9:16 a.m., LBPD sent out a Nixle alert warning residents that Laguna Canyon Road would be closed in both directions for at least two hours due to a traffic collision into a pole.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt. Jim Cota, the accident was a single-vehicle traffic collision into a tree, which caused pole lines to fall into the roadway.

Police Files accident

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy LBPD

A single-vehicle accident downs a pole and closes the Canyon for hours on Monday

At 10:13 a.m., LBPD sent out a second alert stating that Laguna Canyon Road between the area of Big Bend and Canyon Acres Drive would be closed until 2 p.m.

Luckily, at 12:02 p.m., an all-clear alert was sent. “All lanes of Laguna Canyon Road are now open. Please drive safe.”

Local woman receives email death threat, warned to pay $70,000 and not contact LBPD

On Sunday, April 28, a local woman received a death threat via email demanding she pay the suspect $70,000 or she would be killed. 

The email said verbatim, “I want you to read this message very carefully, and keep the secret with you till further notice, There is no need knowing who i am or where am from, Until i secure a place to meet up, I have being paid $35,000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer, Someone i believe you call a friend. Informations like your phone number and address.

“i have watched you closely for one week and three days and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation, Do not contact any Law enforcement or try to send a copy of this to them, If you do it is at your risk as i would be aware, and might be pushed to do what i have being paid for, Note this is the first time i am breaking my code of honor and i really doubt i should.

“Listen, Arrangement for us to meet in person would be made but before that i will need you to pay the sum of $70,000.00 and there will be nothing to be afraid of. I will be meeting you at your work place or home depending on where you wish we meet { Most likely a crowded area }, with no cameras, you should have no bugs to record our conversation (That might be the end of it). 

“My employer is in my control now, You will need to pay $50,000.00 to the account i will be providing you, After that we can set our first meeting, after you have made the advance payment to the provided account, i will meet you and deliver the tape containing the request for your assassination then you can pay the rest up front, The tape contains enough evidence to take my employer to court (if you wish to).

“You don’t need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply. Do not reply directly to this email. Reply to this email if you want all this to be in the past. Good Luck.”

The woman contacted LBPD and reported the incident, which she believed to be a scam.

Laguna man on scooter is ejected and lands in ER

On Saturday, April 27, at 12:50 p.m., LBPD officers and LBFD were dispatched to the 1900 Block of Laguna Canyon Road in reference to an injury traffic collision involving a single motor scooter. A good Samaritan called in the accident to emergency personnel. 

According to police records, the RP was not involved in the accident but reported that he saw it happen.

The driver was identified as Laguna Beach resident Steven Cardoza, according to Sgt. Cota. He was travelling inbound on Laguna Canyon Road when he was injured.

“It appears he applied his breaks too hard and was ejected from his scooter. He complained of pain to his left shoulder and was transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo,” Sgt. Cota said.

The inbound lane of Laguna Canyon Road was closed for about 15 minutes.

Male suspect flees after allegedly assaulting a man who was dancing with his wife at local restaurant

On Saturday, April 27, at 10:56 p.m., LBPD officers responded a restaurant in the 200 block of Broadway Street for a report of an assault that had allegedly just occurred. 

According to police records, the caller stated that he was “just hit in the head by another male patron.” The RP said that he was dancing with his wife when the subject walked up and hit him. He also said he had “a video of the suspect confronting him after he was hit.”

“Officers arrived and located the victim. They attempted to locate the suspect, but he had fled the scene prior to their arrival,” Sgt. Cota said. “No medical assistance was required for the victim. A report was taken.”