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Police expect to make an arrest soon in the slaying of a former pro hockey player and female friend inside his southern California condo.
Cops say that Darren Partch, 38, and Wendi Miller, 48, were slain Sunday night in his Newport Beach condo. His roommate discovered the bodies, KTLA reports.
During his playing career, Parch played forward for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL, and for a number of teams in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), Southern and Central leagues, including for the San Diego Gulls.
Police say the murders were an “isolated incident.”
“It’s an active investigation. I can’t get into the specifics of the case in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” department spokesman Heather Rangel told the Orange County Register , adding that the crime is considered a double homicide.
Friends said the pair — whose relationship was unclear — were last seen together at a Laguna Beach bar called the Sandpiper around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Miller — a mother and child advocate — was going to give the former hockey star a ride back to his condo. That was the last time the pair were seen.
On Sunday, Partch’s roommate arrived home to discover his friend’s body and that of a woman he did not recognize.
There were no signs a criminal broke into the locked home and so far, cops have not released a cause of death, but Miller’s family said the pair were shot.
On Easter Sunday, Miller’s son wrote an emotional post on Facebook announcing her death: “She had been shot and it was told to us that she did not suffer.”
A psychologist, she founded an advocacy organization called Wings for Justice, which works to protect children mired in the family court system.
According to the Register, friends of Miller became worried and took to social media in an effort to find her.
Partch’s 13-year minor league career ended with the Gulls in 2006. Recently, he had been working in the financial services industry.
In February 2004, Partch told the Las Vegas Sun he went to boarding school in Alberta when he was 15.
His parents had enrolled him in the hockey-focused Banff Hockey Academy.
“You wake up at 7 or 8, go skate for a few hours, go to school, and either leave for your game, or you play your game, or are basically practicing every single day,” he said.
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