Bartender charged with beating woman to death with fire extinguisher

Tatum Goodwin’s body was found at a Laguna Beach construction site

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Sunday 19 November 2023 17:08 GMT
Laguna Beach woman found dead in alley

A man has been arrested for allegedly beating a woman to death with a fire extinguisher and discarding her body at a construction site in a California beach town.

The body of 27-year-old Tatum Goodwin was discovered by a construction worker in an alleyway in Laguna Beach on 12 November. She had reportedly been badly beaten and left with a sandbag covering her head.

Detectives arrested Dino Rojas-Moreno, a 26-year-old bartender, on Wednesday on murder charges. His bail was set at $1,000,000.

The night before her body was found, locals told news outlet Under Laguna that Goodwin was seen Saturday evening at two bars – Hennessey’s and the Marine Room – leaving the latter later that night.

Residents in the area heard screaming around 2am according to the outlet. Goodwin had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Under Laguna reported.

Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Mr Rojas-Morena had approached Goodwin in a parking lot and assaulted her near her 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 theatre that was under construction. Rojas-Moreno is then accused of beating Goodwin to death with a fire extinguisher. Goodwin was found several hours later,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

Goodwin, of San Clemente, was remembered by friends and family as “a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face”.

A GoFundMe page, which has raised over $25,000, was set up by Marcos Salim Heredia, owner and operator of Carmelita’s Restaurants where Goodwin worked. The page is seeking funds for a memorial for her in the city.

“I have had the great pleasure to have Tatum as our assistant manager, friend, and family member in our business for four years,” Mr Heredia wrote in the description.

Tatum Goodwin was found dead in Laguna Beach, California
Tatum Goodwin was found dead in Laguna Beach, California (Fox News/ Goodwin family handout)

“Tatum was a very hard working young lady and always kept a smile on her face. Over the years she had expressed her pleasure to be in Laguna and have her opportunity with us. We felt that we really had a family member here with us.”

On Tuesday Goodwin’s sister Kaylee wrote on Facebook that her sister "was taken from this world by someone evil”.

"I will never feel or be okay. My world is shattered. My family is shattered. I’m grieving and it’s so hard to see life after this,” she wrote.

She later told Fox News Digital: “She was the best dog mom and loved her dog so much. She was the best daughter. My mom and her were very close.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in