3:18 PM – Monday, November 20, 2023
Disturbing new details have surfaced regarding the death of a 27-year-old woman who was violently beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by a bartender in Laguna Beach, California.
On Wednesday, Dino Rojas-Moreno, 26, was arrested for the murder of Tatum Goodwin, whose body was discovered on November 12th in a Laguna Beach alley just a few blocks away from her place of work.
“This arrest was the result of outstanding police work by our Investigations team that worked tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to bring justice to Tatum Goodwin and her family,” said Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert.
Rojas-Moreno’s bail is currently set at $1,000,000, according to a Laguna Beach Police Department news release.
The Laguna Beach Police Department announced that a construction worker had discovered Goodwin’s lifeless body near the 200 block of Ocean Avenue in Laguna Beach on the morning of November 12th.
“Her body was under a chain link fence on a construction site and a sandbag had been placed on her head,” prosecutors revealed in the court filing.
Rojas-Moreno, who was detained in Laguna Hills on Wednesday in connection to Goodwin’s death, reportedly worked as a bartender at Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill, according to the Orange County Register.
Rojas-Moreno’s place of work was also near the restaurant that Goodwin was employed at, as she worked as an assistant manager at Carmelita’s restaurant in Laguna Beach.
According to the filing made on Friday in Orange County Superior Court, Rojas-Moreno is accused of using a fire extinguisher as a weapon in the murder of Goodwin, which he allegedly did “in the commission and attempted commission of the crime of kidnapping.”
The complaint states that around 1 a.m. on November 12th, Rojas-Moreno approached Goodwin in a parking lot and attacked her while she headed to her parked car.
“Rojas-Moreno then forcefully dragged her to the rear of the parking lot, down a short alley, and to a secluded area behind a movie theater that was under construction,” prosecutors stated.
Prosecutors also said that Rojas-Moreno claimed he had been “jumped” by two men in Santa Ana when he failed to show up for work later that day.
It remains unclear whether Rojas-Moreno and Goodwin knew one another despite the fact that they both worked at restaurants in the same area.
Orange County DA Todd Spitzer said that the devastating killing was “a travesty for the entire community.”
“The loss of an innocent life is a travesty for the entire community. It is heartbreaking that a young woman with her entire future ahead of her had her life ended in such a brutal way and then discarded like her life never mattered,” Spitzer said. “She mattered, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring justice is served.”
A vigil in honor of Goodwin was held on Wednesday night in her hometown of San Clemente, California, and hundreds of her acquaintances, friends, and family attended. The suspect’s arrest occurred at the same time as the event.
Rojas-Moreno will be arraigned on Monday.
Many news sources say that the assailant is being held without bail, however, other official sources like the Laguna Beach Police Department maintain that his bail is currently set at $1,000,000.
At the vigil, family and friends of Goodwin consistently mentioned how loving and kind she was.
“She was just a happy-go-lucky person that would give you the shirt off her back. That’s who Tatum was,” said her mother Stacy Goodwin-Pitino.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Marcos Salim Heredi, who owns Carmelita’s Restaurants where Goodwin worked, in order to raise funds for her memorial services. On the fundraising page, Heredi stated that Goodwin “was a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face.”
“We are still in disbelief and we don’t want her to go unforgotten,” Heredi wrote. “We are attempting to raise capital for her memorial services and also help with creating a memorial in the city, so everyone in town never forgets about our sweet friend Tatum.”