In Laguna Beach, California, the community is reeling from the brutal murder of 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin, whose life was tragically cut short. The details of the case, as reported by local authorities and the media, paint a chilling picture of the events leading to her death.
The suspect, 26-year-old Dino Rojas-Moreno, was arrested and charged with the murder of Goodwin, whose body was discovered in a horrific state. On November 12, a construction worker found Goodwin’s badly beaten body near a construction site behind an abandoned movie theater, close to Carmelita’s restaurant where she worked. According to the latest court documents, Goodwin’s body was found under a chain-link fence with a sandbag placed over her head.
Rojas-Moreno, who was apprehended in Laguna Hills, worked as a bartender at the Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill, a short distance from where Goodwin was employed. The charge against him alleges the use of a fire extinguisher as a weapon in the fatal assault, which is said to have occurred after an attempted kidnapping. Prosecutors detailed that Rojas-Moreno initially attacked Goodwin in a parking lot around 1 a.m., then dragged her to a secluded area behind the movie theater where the murder took place.
Following the incident, Rojas-Moreno reportedly claimed to have been attacked by two men in Santa Ana when he failed to show up for work. The nature of the relationship, if any, between Rojas-Moreno and Goodwin remains unclear.
The Orange County District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, expressed profound sorrow over the cruel nature of the crime, emphasizing the impact of Goodwin’s tragic death on the community. He vowed that the District Attorney’s Office is committed to seeking justice for Goodwin.
Goodwin’s death has deeply affected the local community, particularly in her hometown of San Clemente. A vigil was held in her honor, drawing hundreds of her family members and friends, coinciding with Rojas-Moreno’s arrest. At the vigil, Goodwin’s mother, Stacy Goodwin-Pitino, and her sister, Kaylee Goodwin, shared their anguish and disbelief over the brutal loss of Tatum.
Rojas-Moreno is set to be arraigned, and he remains in custody without bond. As the community mourns and seeks answers, the case continues to unfold, highlighting the urgent need for justice in this heartbreaking situation.