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Laguna Beach


Police Files

Woman reported missing, last seen in Laguna Beach, murdered in double homicide 

A local woman who was reported missing after a night out in Laguna Beach was found murdered along with a Newport Beach man on Sunday, April 21.

The Orange County Coroner’s office identified the deceased yesterday as Wendi Miller, 48, a Costa Mesa resident and CEO of Wings for Justice, and Darren Partch, 38, of Newport Beach.

Miller and Partch were found dead Sunday night, April 21, at the Villa Siena condominium complex across the street from Newport Harbor High School at 15th Street and Irvine Avenue. Newport Beach Police are calling the deaths a double homicide.

Police Files Darren Partch Police Files Wendi Miller

Darren Partch and Wendi Miller were murdered in Newport Beach

A roommate of the male victim was returning home around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday from a weekend in the desert and discovered the bodies. At the time, he did not recognize the identity of the female.

Newport Beach Police have yet to release any further details, other than to say that there didn’t appear to be any signs of a forced entry.

A family member reported on Wendi’s death saying, “She had been shot and (we were) told that she did not suffer.”

Police are investigating and have “no information on a suspect at this time.”

Miller was last seen, according to friends, at the Loft and Sandpiper in Laguna Beach early Saturday morning, and she hadn’t been seen or heard from since. She was driving a white convertible Lexus.

Police Files Double Homicide

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Lana Johnson

Newport Beach Police cordoned off the area in front of the Villa Siena condominium complex at 2101 E. 15th St., Newport Beach

A neighbor in Villa Siena told Stu News that two vehicles were impounded from the scene earlier yesterday.

Partch was a retired hockey player from the San Diego Gulls organization where he last played in 2005-06. He also played for the Long Beach Ice Dogs back in 2003-04. 

He was originally from Agoura Hills.

Laguna Beach detectives are assisting Newport Beach detectives in the investigation and will be involved in the overall investigation.

Local arrested for attempted murder

On Saturday, April 20, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputies were called to a residential complex in Aliso Viejo regarding multiple subjects who were reportedly shot at by an unknown male in a truck. 

The suspect allegedly fired approximately three to four gunshots, but none of the subjects were hit. The suspect fled the area in the vehicle. Witnesses provided a description of the suspect, the vehicle, and a direction of travel to dispatchers. The suspect was described as a white male with black hair, wearing a gray shirt and driving an older gray Toyota truck. 

The weapon was described as a black, semi-automatic handgun. Responding deputies were unable to locate the vehicle in the area, but further investigation revealed the possible identity of the suspect.

Police Files McGuinness“LBPD was contacted to assist in the investigation as the suspect’s last known address was in the 31000 block of Holly Drive. LBPD officers located a vehicle similar to the one described by witnesses at the address and determined the suspect had several weapons including a gun similar to the one described, registered to him,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

Sgt Cota continued, “While LBPD officers were surveilling the residence, the suspect exited with a gun in his hand. LBPD officers were able to take the suspect into custody and bring this dangerous situation to an end without anyone being injured.” 

The suspect, Zachary James McGuinness, 23, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for attempted murder and illegal discharge of a firearm with negligence. 

The investigation into this incident is ongoing. For further information, contact Sergeant Jim Cota at (949) 494-6671 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bail was set at $500,000.

Passenger reportedly slapped in car over vehicle positioning near gas pump

On Sunday, April 14, at 4:32 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 500 block of South Coast Highway for a report of an alleged assault. 

“The female RP reported that another female reached into her car and slapped her passenger. The suspect female fled before the arrival of officers,” Sgt Cota said. “This incident occurred over a verbal altercation at a gas station over the way the vehicles were positioned near the pumps.” 

According to police records, the slapper was reportedly driving “a black late-model Cadillac sedan.” The RP was driving a “black BMW X3.”

According to police records medical attention was required.

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